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I'm Glad I "Cooked" Tonight

I really love Tuesday afternoons.  My daughter takes art lessons in Trenton with an amazing, retired teacher from the Gibraltar School District.  This gives me an hour to kill on my own every week at one of my favorite stores, Target.  I enjoyed my coffee and time roaming up and down the aisles.  I picked up my Halloween candy and a new video game, (shhhh don't tell the wife).  After picking up my daughter from her lesson it was time for me to "cook" dinner.  I decided Chinese sounded delicious so we stopped at our favorite Chinese restaurant, Hawaiian Island.  This is where the night got very interesting.

While waiting for our order, my daughter and I were enjoying a few games of "thumb war."  I took some time to ask about her day at school and if she was able to visit the school library.  An older gentleman was sitting nearby and inquired which library I take my daughter to.  I informed him that we will visit the Trenton library sometimes, but usually my daughter gets books from her school library.  He went on to ask if she has a lot of books at home, and I mentioned that she does and she actually loves to read.  At this point I felt it was necessary to let him know that I am actually a librarian and reading is very important to me (and my children).  He seemed surprised, as many do when I share my profession.  I guess I really do not fit the stereotype of a librarian.  Once I shared where I worked, he asked if I would like a book he wanted to donate to my library.  I never turn down a donation and he went out to his car and returned with this book.

Little Did I Know The Kind Stranger Was Also The Author
The kind gentleman provided me with a little background of the book, and then informed my daughter and I that he was the author and his son was the illustrator.  He was even concerned that there was a slight mark on the cover and did his best to buff it out (which he did).  My daughter was so excited to actually meet an author in person.  After thanking him he informed me that he would be signing copies of his book next week at the Trenton Library.  As I walked out of the restaurant and noticed the excitement in my daughter's eyes I realized how lucky I was to "cook" Chinese for dinner on this particular evening.

If receiving the book was not enjoyment enough, the short ride home made the night even better.  My daughter was so excited about the book, she had to start reading it right away.  She read the book aloud the entire way home.  She gushed about never meeting an author before and how excited she was to bring the book into school to share with her classmates.  She said she loved the story and that the pictures were amazing.  I did not think it was possible for my daughter to love books or reading more than she already does, but this chance encounter has only increased her love of reading and writing.  For her, meeting and receiving a book from the author was like a celebrity encounter.  I have enormous smile as I write tonight, thinking about how excited Chloe was about receiving this book.

I really want to send a giant thank-you to Trenton resident Donald G. Henkel, the author and kind gentleman that gave the book to my daughter and I.  Your work and the work of your son is amazing.  My daughter loves the book and I love the fact that she is even more excited about reading.  Thank you for your generosity and dedication to children's literature.  After Chloe shares the book with her classmates I plan to donate the book to her school library, so her classmates can enjoy the book as well.  Thank you so much Mr. Henkel!


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