6 Ways Libraries Can Inspire You (PHOTOS)

04/03/2013 11:49 am ET | Updated Jun 03, 2013

I didn't set out to become a picture book author. I was happy being a project engineer in Silicon Valley and a mom to my first child, Isabella.

Isabella loved pretending to be a princess when she was a toddler. She had all the costumes, she had the attitude and of course there were tea parties. It was fun. But it dawned on me that she wasn't pretending to be anything but a princess. I knew as her mom, I had to expose her to some real women who had made amazing contributions to our world: personal heroes of mine like Marie Curie or Sally Ride, and show her all the wonderful things she could do with her life.

So, I wrote My Name is Not Isabella to do that. My fantastic illustrator, Mike Litwin, gave my character, Isabella, her famous purple hair -- and the rest was history. Parents and teachers liked Isabella's spunk and imagination and wanted their kids to know: you can be anything! I wrote My Name is Not Alexander to make sure boys heard the same message. Isabella clearly resonated with readers and she wanted more adventures, so I wrote Isabella: Girl on the Go, where she travels around the world experiencing its greatest wonders without ever leaving her own backyard.

This time around, I decided that Isabella and her parents should visit one of my favorite places on earth: the local library. "Librarian-ism" runs in my family, my mom, several aunts, a cousin are all librarians. I consider myself a "library-ophile." So in Isabella: Star of the Story, Isabella pops into a special building that houses all those books that are among my warmest, safest, fullest, kindest, excitingist and best memories. Books and libraries are a place of discovery and imagination, right up my alley, and Isabella's alley, too.

6 Ways Libraries Can Inspire You