Tamara Splingaerd
Biography of a Children's Books Reviewer

Tamara Splingaerd
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I am Eloise
I am six
I am a city child
I live at the Plaza
There is a Lobby which is enormously large

Ahh, Happy Place.

Ooooooooo I just love Nanny I absolutely do…

I’m Tamara
I live in the Boston suburbs
I’m thirtyyaaa, it’s all coming back to me now
Kids. Yep I have kids: 2 girls and 5 step-children. Grandkids? Yes, step-grandbabies: 6
Yes, I’m back I’m here. Help...

Okay, so my Happy Place is a children’s picture book. And not just Eloise, of course. There are dozens, if not hundreds. And except for a few I lost in one of my many moves or to the ex-in-laws, I still have them all. Tamara’s Library, my little neighbor Sarah called it. She was sad when I moved 3,000 miles away from sleepy Ontario, Canada to shifty San Francisco when I was 14, “I’m going to miss your library.” She was an only child too.

If I didn’t learn everything I needed to know before I turned 10, I sure didn’t learn it in high school. Or in the one pitiful (and expensive) semester I spent in college. Luckily my education picked up again shortly after that, when I started reading from Tamara’s Library again - to my own tiny daughter. The Library grew too. Eleven years later, more kids arrive by stork and other fashionable ways of growing one’s family exponentially.

Decades of diverse odd-jobs took me in and out of travel agencies, hotels, a library, restaurants, a movie theatre, airports, bars, more bars, construction sites, my own home offices and medical buildings. All the while, nightly reading made me realize how relevant children’s literature still is in the adult world. I realized that every big-person moral dilemma, trouble or worry can be resolved if I find the right kid’s book. Who knows where I’d be without my Arnold Lobel collection? Like Toad, screaming “GROW!” at the seeds in my garden…or my kids?

After my recent failures as an entrepreneur, I have comforted myself with writing children’s books. Although they’re all still “works in progress”, I would be overjoyed if my kids could someday read my stories to their own kids. I know how much my childhood reading formed the world I see today and can’t think of a greater privilege than bringing new ideas, images, fantasy and adventure to another generation of thirsting minds.

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