First my sister drove in from Miami in a GIANT camper with her husband, four kids, and housekeeper. For a surprise they brought my parents and uncle from Russia.
Then I got a call from my sister-in-law in Houston. She was getting a divorce and was moving to LA. She and the 3 kids needed a place to stay until she found a new house. She arrived with 3 children and a housekeeper.
Soon after that my mother-in-law got out of the hospital. She moved in — together with her nurse.
All together 23 people lived in our house that summer. Every evening the invaders… oops, sorry… visitors — would congregate on the front lawn. On occasion my uncle from Russia led the group in a Russian folk song. On some nights my dad joined in with Klezmer on the clarinet.
Our formerly quiet little neighborhood buzzed with music, noise from children at play, and the barking of a scraggly dog — who adopted our family that summer too. Our not-so-quiet little house began to bust at the seams. On various occasions the neighbors summoned the police to check out the “suspicious activity” at the house of the new family on the block!
I always thought I would write this story as a screen play or musical yet sixteen years later it finally manifested itself as the children’s picture book.
Susan Chodakiewitz is a writer, composer and producer. She is the founder of Booksicals Children’s Books- Encouraging the love of reading through the arts. Through her company Booksicals she has created the Booksicals on Stage literacy program which is currently presenting musical performances of the picture book Too Many Visitors for One Little House at schools, libraries, and special events.
Susan lives in Los Angeles in a lively household filled with music, three sons, a husband, a Dalmatian and lots of visitors. Susan loves picture books and when she wrote a musical based on one of her favorites, she realized it was time to start writing her own picture books. Too Many Visitors for One Little House is Susan’s debut book. You can visit her website at www.booksicals.com.