“As a child I read anything and everything I could get my hands on. There was no greater joy for me than to curl up with a good read. Books transported me— away from war, into the realm of my imagination and to other worlds and ideas. They instilled in me a powerful sense of wonder. To quote the legendary Helen Hayes, ‘From your parents you learn love and laughter and how to put one foot in front of the other. But when books are opened you discover you have wings.’
My father was a teacher and enthusiastic naturalist, and he opened my eyes, my senses, and my emotions to the miracles of life under our noses every day. I learned to love and respect nature and view it as truly precious. The books we choose for the Julie Andrews Collection reflect these fundamental values —the gifts of nature, the power of language, and lush imagery to inspire and delight the imagination—and I attempt to do the same in the books I write myself, as well as those I coauthor with my daughter, Emma.
It is an awesome responsibility to write for young people, for I am always aware that they face more choices today and have to make more difficult decisions than I have ever known. In this media-driven world of sound bites, lightning-fast imagery, video games, and‘reality’ TV, I worry that we are spoon-feeding a steady diet of ‘manufactured’ slices of life to our children, so that all they have to do is receive rather than participate in any way.
The joy of reading is that it asks us to use our imaginations…and therefore we engage, and play an active role in our experiences. And I can think of no better way for young people to discover their passions, their values, their world, and their own places in it than through the portal of a wonderful book.
It is my fervent hope that the books in the Julie Andrews Collection will become cherished classics, worthy of dog-eared pages and shared reading pleasure for generations to come.”