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Things I Learned from Biscuit – Guest Post by the Author

Guest post from Biscuit author Alyssa Satin Capucilli to celebrate Biscuit’s 20th anniversary

“Dear Alyssa Satin Capucilli, I think you should write a Biscuit book called, Biscuit Learns How to Read.”

So begins a letter I received after visiting with first grade students recently. Although the young author goes on to instruct what should follow on page one and two, including the “woof, woofs,” he adds that he is sure I can complete the rest of the story on my own! Still, it is the final line of his letter that resonates with me most: “Biscuit books are easy for me to read but that’s what makes reading fun. Love Cami”

Although there is much we hope to celebrate in the life of a young child, it is a particularly magical celebration when a child learns to read independently. Knowing that for the past twenty years, Biscuit has been even a small part of that lifelong celebration is humbling indeed. That over 20 million emergent readers in numerous languages have taken this small yellow puppy and his world into their hearts and their imaginations, is at once awesomely wonderful, and an awesome responsibility as well. Each story serves a slice of life to our youngest; and I want to serve a slice that is gentle and meaningful, filled with hope, compassion, and lots of humor.

When I wrote the first book about Biscuit, I had no idea that over fifty books would follow. Yet, letters from readers stating, “Biscuit is the first book I can read all by myself,” frequently appeared in my mailbox and compelled me to write more and more…and more. I’ve learned through the many letters received that Biscuit may help navigate confusing feelings when we’re not so sure we like our new baby brother after all. I’ve learned that Biscuit may introduce a reader to life on a farm or allow someone to experience the big city from many miles away. I’ve learned that Biscuit, and the little girl who is ever by his side, teach us that although we may be small, our actions are meaningful; whether we are returning a lost duckling to its home, or we help Grandpa carry the groceries, or when we dig in and care for our natural world. Family, friends, community are always there to love us, even if we get a bit muddy now and then.

From “Biscuit haiku,” to stories titled “Biscuit Meets a Lobster” to “Biscuit Builds a Treehouse” I am the grateful recipient of the creations of so many young readers and writers for whom Biscuit is a springboard for their own inventions. I am deeply moved by letters from once struggling and reluctant readers, as well as parents, librarians, and educators who are their champions.

“Woof, woof” may mean many things, but in this moment it means, Thank you, Biscuit. Thank you for helping so many celebrate twenty years of reading.

Want more Biscuit? Visit Biscuit’s page for books, activities, and more!