Dear Mo Willems,

This is a small thank-you.

I first heard of you on a library field trip, with my then-preschool foster daughter. The dragon lady at our local library read  ”Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus”. I took delight in watching the story come alive for my wide-eyed daughter. But this thank-you reaches much deeper than that incident.

Last year, I came across a darling book at our local bookstore. “Amanda & Her Alligator” has become a family favorite. I overflowed with emotion the first time I read Alligator’s words, “Why was I in the sale bucket?” and “Why did no one want to buy me?”

You see, both of my children are adopted from foster care and they have asked similar questions. “Why did I move fourteen times?” “Why did it take so long for me to be adopted?”

The first time I read your story to my children, they hung on pins and needles for Amanda’s response.  Her answer echoed my own to Alec and Lora.
They can relate to Alligator’s fear and sadness at being passed over in the “sale bucket” but know the value of family is found when you are you are meant to be together.

Thank you for writing this story, especially chapter four. It has blessed my family.

Smile, Donna Marie Tyree