ABOUT LORRI HORN
Lorri Horn, born and raised in California, has been working with kids all her life. She got her first babysitting job when she was nine years old, became a camp counselor, and went on to be a teacher. It’s true she did eat all of the pickles and popsicles on her first babysitting gig, but she did manage to feed that kid a cheese and pickle sandwich before polishing off the rest of the jar off herself. No one complained. Evidently, she had a knack with kids.
Lorri spent a few years studying cercopithecus aethiops (vervet monkeys) and thought she’d be a famous biological anthropologist. But it turns out you have to rough it and camp to do that kind of job, and Lorri’s more of a pillow-top mattress and no bug repellent kind of gal. Plus, while it was fascinating to study and observe our little nonhuman primate brothers and sisters lip-smacking to communicate things like “Oh, gee, I’m sorry, is that your branch?”, Lorri found it much more rewarding to share a good book with a kid. Not once did those vervets gather round for story-time.
So Lorri became an educator and an author for humans, who, admittedly, sometimes monkey around. She has a degree in English, a teaching credential, has been Nationally Board Certified, and has taught public school for over 14 years. She loves cheese (if she had to choose between cheese and chocolate on a deserted island, she’d have to say cheese—and that’s saying a whole lot, because she’s not sure how’d she live without chocolate), humor, baking, books, and spending time with her husband, son, and their dog—you guessed it—Wolfie.
Being a teacher was an influence in a couple of key ways. The first is the humor and silliness I brought to the book. Students being authentically engaged with whatever material they have before them has always been essential to me as an educator. A gateway into engagement with students is often through humor, and I’ve always loved sharing that with kids. I also possess a love for word play and language and introducing children to just how closely they can help their reader smell a particular doughnut if they carefully compare it to other words their reader knows. While writing Dewey, I chose words carefully both to make children laugh, but also to help them see, smell, taste, and imagine the words they read—both to bring them to life in this world of ours that competes for children’s attention with quick-moving images, and to provide a model for them in their own writing as well.
I would love for Dewey Fairchild, Parent Problem Solver first and foremost to make people laugh and enjoy a good read. Beyond that, it seems to me that we all come with our baggage and our issues, and try as we all might, it seems inevitable that each generation passes some of it on, either as a reaction to that stuff or a repetition of it. The more we know we do it, the more we can talk about it with our kids when it happens, admit our foibles, acknowledge them, laugh about them, apologize for them, and the better equipped kids are to make their own way through. Dewey Fairchild is the liaison because sometimes we don’t always do that as well as we’d like. No one really wants to admit she was picking her nose and rolling a booger into the carpet, you know? But Dewey helps us be the better person who can say, “Gosh, how embarrassing! I was just picking my nose right then! I felt so caught when you asked that I actually lied and said I wasn’t!”