About Me

About Kylie O’Brien Hall

 

Kylie O'Brien Hall

One of my fondest memories growing up was when my mother would take me to the library every week and we would leave with armloads of books to read. I loved the smell of the books, how their plastic covering crinkled as I turned the pages, how opening a new book felt as if you were opening a present you didn’t even know you wanted. As time went on, I began to realize that I could be the one to write the stories in the books and maybe one day they would line the shelves of the library. So, at age nine, my writing journey began. Not surprisingly, that book never saw the light of day, but it tickled something inside of me that, until recently, I forgot was even there. Putting my first failed book aside, life went on. I always enjoyed working with children, so it was natural that I became a teacher when I grew up. In my first year of teaching, as I lovingly prepared my first grade classroom, it hit me that something was missing: a class pet. Now, the idea of a class pet was romantic, but I was realistic to the fact that I had twenty tiny people to take care of and I feared adding even one more little member to our classroom would put me over the edge. My solution: a loveable stuffed animal who could add fantasy and excitement to our classroom with leaving any “special presents” for me to clean up (if you catch my drift); Thus the birth of Ribbit the frog. Ribbit stole the show in my classroom and immediately won the hearts of my students. I wish I could think of a better words than adore, obsess, idolize, or worship describe how my students felt about him because those words wither in comparison to how they felt about that little amphibian. In fact, it was their love that brought him to life. On a daily basis, I found myself being interrogated with questions about what Ribbit did after school and during the weekends, their little minds eager for a response.

Being the dream-weaver I am, I would always make up an adventure on the fly (no pun intended) filled with fantasy and adventure just to watch the expression of pure whimsy light up their little faces. Before I knew it, Ribbit was the leading man (or frog) of not only my classroom, but the entire school. Students who never even had me as a teacher would ask to come and see Ribbit and begged to hear about his adventures. When the days were done and I retreated to my quaint little apartment, I would retell my fantastic tales to my husband and he would always say (and I quote), “You have a crazy imagination. You should put those stories into a book.” I would scoff and shrug him off with a, “Ha! Yea, right.” I hadn’t written since I was nine years old. What made him think I could be any good at it? After years of nudging, I finally caved in and decided to give it a try. What was there to lose? I opened up my laptop and the words flowed like hot fudge down an ice cream sundae. It was almost as if they had always been there, waiting to come out. Who knew when I picked up that adorable little green frog at the toy store how much my life was going to change? Ribbit told me his stories and now I hope that I can share them with you.