I know why this hasn't sold, and in all probability, never will sell. At almost 1500 words, it's not a picture book, but a picture story book. Too long "for today's young readers or lap top listeners." Too long for inclusion in a children's magazine. (Why do I keep writing this sort of story?) But somewhere there's a child who will like it, and if you think you know such a child, and share it with him or her, you will be making us both happy. (Incidentally, if you read Stella's Elevator, you'll see that this is practically the same story as that. I changed the locale and the plot hinge because I had been told that the static location of Stella's elevator limited potential illustrations.) I actually like April Fool Bus better, but if you have a preference, I'd be glad to know which you like better.
April Fool's Day has never been one of my favorite days of the year. I have a dim memory of a morning in my childhood when my father sent me next door to ask our neighbor, Earl Davis, if he would lend Dad a tool with a complicated (and fictitious) name. Mr. Davis told me to tell Dad that he didn't have one of those, but maybe Dad would like to borrow a different tool with a name even harder to remember. Back home, Dad said--you guessed it. I don't know how many trips I made between our house and the Davis's second floor apartment, my short legs beginning to ache, my feet shod in the hated babyish "hightops" I was forced to wear because of "weak ankles" before at long last Mrs. Davis took pity on me and carried me home. I can still the laughter of the two men--not exactly laughing at me, (my heart wants to insist) but revelling in their own inventive nomenclature.
Dad died the day before 9/11. I have always been glad he missed it. In the later years of his life, he mellowed, and it is hard for me to acknowledge that he did have a slight streak of cruelty he had to fight--not always successfully.
In spite of the many years of love and support he gave me, some memories still hurt.
A writer dips into the dark well of memory and finds that the rich dipperful she brings up to present sunlight may transform itself into something new and happy.
So healing comes.