One of the crucial things that drive writers, I think, is the desire to be part of what I refer to as Book Culture. This is the universe of the book; writing, reading, making, publishing, book-selling, libraries, editing, design, marketing—and you can add much more to the list, I’m sure. If you were a very young reader, as I was, you grew up amidst various aspects of this world. I suppose I could start with the picture books my mother read to us nightly when kids, to the gift of a book (always) on birthday and Christmas, the local library. I decided to become a writer when I was a teen-ager. In a diary I kept when a high school senior (1955) there are long lists of the books I was reading. But there is also the title of a play I wrote which I listed between Ibsen’s Enemy of the People and Dylan Thomas‘ Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog, with the parenthetical note (“That’s nice to put down.”) In other words, I was placing myself among great writers. Yes, a seventeen-year-old’s fantasy, but that was the world of which I wished to be a part. So when a friend sent me The National Endowment for the Humanities “Summer Booklist for Young Readers,” updated for the first time since 1988, it was fun to see, wedged between Hans Christian Anderson’s Fairy Tales and Natalie Babbitt’s Tuck Everlasting, my book Poppy (illustrated by Brian Floca). Just as in 1955, it’s nice to be a part of that world.