Books by Margie
As Zoey Zinevich would say, “here’s the spill.” I grew up in Edison, New Jersey. Yup. It’s named after Thomas you-know-who, (He invented the light bulb, phonograph, movie camera, etc. etc. – lots of etc.) and his first laboratory was in Edison, then called Menlo Park.
I was forever telling stories, making puppet shows, and putting on plays. I was one animated and funny little character — singing, dancing, acting out … acting up. I had a really good ear for imitating voices, and would create my own characters mimicking everyone from my mom and dad, to my grandparents, aunts, uncles, my doctor, teachers, and people I saw on TV. I Loved Lucy, adored Lamb Chop, and I’ll always be crazy for Bugs. (Bunny, that is).
I also loved to read. Fairytales. Biographies. History. Everything.
When I was in first grade, I had my tonsils removed. Ouch. When you have your tonsils taken out, you pretty much can’t do anything for a while, except eat ice cream and other cold stuff because your throat really hurts. You certainly can’t sing, or act. I couldn’t even talk! But reading was just fine, so my parents bought me the biggest green leather-covered book I had ever seen. The title was stamped in gold and inside it was filled with fairy tales and fables and the most beautiful illustrations. When I touched the pages, the paper felt like satin. It was one of my most special gifts ever.
(Okay, my very own play kitchen – in pink — was pretty cool too. And, I can’t forget Barbie!)
But oh, how I loved that fairy tale book! I had other favorite books too, like The Little Engine That Could, The Wizard of Oz, Alice Through The Looking Glass, and Alice in Wonderland. I was absolutely fascinated with its black and white illustrations and tried my best to copy them. (One time I tried copying by using a safety pin to etch into the living room end table!) Not kidding.
Grandma called me ‘the draw-er’.
My parents couldn’t keep me in paper. (But tried really hard after that ‘safety pin’ episode.) If I used up every scrap I could scrounge in the house, I’d find napkins or take a roll of paper towels — which, I thought worked fabulously for making my books. Hey, the pages were already attached! How good was that?
I was always excited to get a new box of 64 Crayola Crayons. They looked like an amazing rainbow of little men, perfectly lined up and wearing pointed colored caps. I almost didn’t want to use them. (But, of course I did.) Down to the nubs.
I can’t remember ever NOT drawing, coloring, or painting. I still have the callus on my pencil/crayon/paintbrush-holding-finger to prove it. Which is the why and how I got to Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia, Pa., where I doodled, dabbled and Da-Da’d, with the Art Museum down the road from me, the Franklin Institute to the left of me, and Public Library across the street.
FAST FORWARD past the years working as an art director, getting married on a ship, having a baby … Whoa. Stop. That little guy was one big inspiration. He got me back to pretending, creating characters and making up stories. He got me writing. (On paper.) And because Jamie couldn’t get enough of my Piggie Pie!, I kept feeding him. And feeding him. And feeding him. And after twenty-two years and almost forty books later, he’s still my supreme giggle tester … and I’m still making up stories. And making up stories … and making up stories.