I have had inspirations and companions that kept the bus rolling along. Here are just a few of my fellow travelers on Odessa’s unique bus.
They are the two most favorite stuffed animals that belong to my grandchildren. Leopard joined our family when my grandson was born; given to him by my daughter’s college roommate as his first ‘stuffy’. Monkey was my gift to my granddaughter on her first birthday. She saw her, smiled, and has loved her ever since.
Both Leopard and Monkey are very well-traveled since they have been companions on every trip taken. They enjoy traveling in automobiles, airplanes, trains and now as passengers on Odessa’s unique bus. Leopard and Monkey are well-loved members of our family, and I could not write a children’s book without them! You will see them on Odessa’s bus, sitting on her bed and holding a few page numbers throughout the book.
Several years ago, I saw an ostrich stuffed animal in a store. It looked sad, and maybe a bit angry, sitting on the shelf with all the other stuffed animals so, I picked it up. From that moment on, I knew that ostrich had a story to tell, I just didn’t know at that time, what the story would be. I’m happy to say that Odessa is now a very happy, caring and loving character who enjoys adventures on her bus.
This grandfather figure comes from my children calling their paternal grandfather, Pappy, which was a tradition in their father’s family. Now that my husband and I are grandparents, the name ‘Pappy’ automatically was applied. I felt it was necessary to continue the tradition in the book as well, with only the small addition of the “O”.