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May 10, 2017

Wendy Walker: Giving My Son Something Else to Explore

Posted by tom

Wendy Walker is the bestselling author of the spellbinding and heart-pounding ALL IS NOT FORGOTTEN, which was published last summer and will be available in paperback on July 18th. Her next thriller, EMMA IN THE NIGHT, will be in stores on August 8th. In it, two girls go missing. Three years later, only one comes home. What happened to Emma? This twisty and sharp novel explores what happens to a family when the mother is a narcissist. In our final Mother’s Day Author Blog piece, Wendy (whose own mother is loving and wonderful) shares with us a story of how books helped her fulfill the needs of her son, who always was looking for “something else.”

Hat. Ball. Plane. It all started with simple words and colorful drawings. When my first son, Andrew, was born, I put my legal career on hold and became a stay-at-home mother. I soon discovered that keeping him entertained was not going to be easy! Like his over-active parents, Andrew needed constant stimulation and new adventures. After learning to say “Momma,” “Dadda” and (of course) “cookie,” one of his first expressions was “something else.”

No matter where we went or what we did, even at the zoo, Andrew would soak up whatever was in front of him and ask for “something else.” I can vividly recall waking up each morning and deciding on a plan of action to get through the day. It wasn’t long before I found the perfect solution: books!

With a mug of coffee and a stack of board books next to me on the floor, I would take Andrew in my lap and open to the first page. Bird. Milk. Flower. I read the words in the big black print while Andrew studied the pictures beneath them. He quickly learned how to turn the pages when he was done. When he graduated from the baby board books, and then from the picture books, on and on to the chapter books and novels, we would visit the local bookstore to find our next adventure.

Through books, he learned the alphabet. He memorized the names of every truck ever built. He became one with his favorite cartoon characters. And he trained a whole gym of Pokemon. Books became the cornerstone of my many years as a mother to my three boys.

Andrew is off to college now, but in his room are stacks of hardcover books --- novels and nonfiction works --- that he has chosen and collected over the years as a young man. That is the beauty of books. Each one has a new adventure, new things to learn, new people to meet and new worlds to imagine. With books, there always will be “something else” to explore!