This is Ted. He belongs to my college-bound daughter. Teddy has been her beloved from the age of three months, and has only spent a few fraught nights away from her. But those nights away were some very dark nights, for my girl, for Ted, and for me!
To a small child, the loss of a stuffy is genuinely heart breaking, because, to them, they have lost a part of themselves, or a loved one.
When Ted went missing, I felt my child's pain acutely. But what was surprising to me was the depth of my own concern for the well-being of Ted. I, the adult, was worried about what Ted was experiencing, and just how profoundly lonely and cold he must be without his sweet girl. I also remembered being a child whose favorite Raggedy Ann doll spent the night at the beach, and how worried I was for her. Those feelings have stuck with me for a very long time.
And so I wrote SAM and JUMP.
To honor the release of my next picture book SAM and JUMP, I'm collecting stories of your (or your favorite stuffed animal or doll from your childhood, and what happened when that stuffy was lost. Please send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll share them here with your permission.