Do you like creamed tuna fish and peas on toast? No? Well, according to Philip Stead, his grandfather really, really, really disliked this dish served to him every Friday. So he buried his supper in the back yard. Many, many years later, Philip turned the story into his first children’s book, aptly titled Creamed Tuna Fish and Peas on Toast. It turns out, according to Philip, that the book Creamed Tuna Fish and Peas on Toast was about as well-received as the dish creamed tuna fish and peas on toast. Still, it launched a career that he and his wife, Erin, had long dreamed of.
Redemption wasn’t far away. A Sick Day for Amos McGee, authored by Philip and illustrated by Erin, won the 2010 Caldecott Medal. This book has been embraced with such endearment, it’s bound to become a classic. And then, Bear Has a Story to Tell, a precious tale of a very patient story-teller, was released in 2012.
The Steads live and work in a renovated barn in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Welcome to the Buckeye State, Phil and Erin! We love you! And after listening to you this morning at the Mazza Fall Conference, we might even reconsider how we feel about creamed tuna fish and peas on toast. (The food and the book.)