“Fear of the dark is such a universal childhood experience. I hope The Moon Inside helps children see nighttime as a special time to be treasured rather than feared – a time to experience both the beauty of nature and the peaceful quality of the moon.” – Sandra V. Feder
“Words may be the most powerful tool we have at our disposal. One reason I wrote the Daisy series is to help children develop a lifelong love of language and to begin to understand, even at a young age, the fun and power of words.” —Sandra V. Feder
Sandra V. Feder has wanted to write children’s books since she was in third grade. That’s when her school librarian began introducing the students to local authors. Sandra had always loved playing with words and meeting authors gave her a glimpse into the world of creating stories for children.
Another early influence was a wonderful naturalist, Elizabeth Terwilliger, affectionately called “Mrs. T” by the generations of students she taught. Mrs. T instilled in Sandra a deep appreciation of nature and the creatures who inhabit the daytime and the nighttime.
Sandra began her writing career in journalism after graduating from Stanford University. “Writing for newspapers taught me the power of words and the importance of using words well,” Sandra says. After she married and had children, Sandra joined a writing group, many of whose members wrote for young readers. That prompted her to try writing for children herself. “My mother, who was an elementary school teacher, was extremely creative and loved books,” she says. “When I was young, she always encouraged me to make up stories that I told to my younger brother at bedtime.”
Now, Sandra draws inspiration from her own children’s younger years, including their fear of the dark. “My children would go through the house and turn on lights,” she says. “That provided the basis for the story that became The Moon Inside. When I thought about things that soothed them at night, I realized that when we were outdoors, they weren’t afraid. They loved catching fireflies and looking for the moon in the night sky.”
In the Daisy series, Sandra encourages a passion for words in the next generation. “I want kids to relate to Daisy and to develop their own love of words and language,” she says. “I hope to see every child carrying a green notebook that is covered with purple polka dots and filled with favorite words.”
Like Daisy, Sandra has a sweet tooth and likes everything, except licorice, on Daisy’s Sweetest Words list. And like Ella, in The Moon Inside, she finds comfort in the sights and sounds of nature.
Sandra lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Author photos courtesy of Steve Maller Photography