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The Way I Act
by Steve Metzger
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Parenting Press Surprises Author with Picture Book Involvement

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About Steve Metzger

Steve Metzger

Now the author of more than 60 books for preschoolers, Steve Metzger started his career with many assignments that had nothing to do with children's books or publishing. After graduation from Baruch College, he drove cabs, washed dishes, worked as a hotel clerk and handled a variety of other positions. He eventually found his way to the Bank Street College of Education, where he earned a master's degree in education in 1981. That led to a decade of work as a preschool teacher, and then, in 1992, to publishing giant Scholastic, which issues and retails books, CDs and DVDs for preschool-grade 12 students and their teachers. Since 2004, he has been vice president and editorial director of all Scholastic book clubs, managing a program which today reaches 10 million students in 500,000 schools.

He became a writer solely by luck. During a Scholastic staff meeting, he suggested that the company do more books about children at preschool. Jean Feiwel, then publisher, asked whether the characters should be changed from children to dinosaurs, and the name "Dinofours" popped into his mind, Metzger recalls.

"Jean asked me if I wanted to write a sample story, and a voice inside my brain screamed, 'Say yes,'" he goes on, explaining how the Dinofours series got started.

Although Scholastic editorial commitments keep him in the headquarters offices most weekdays, Metzger continues to make some school visits, mostly in Manhattan. "I love the energy I get from children during classroom story times," he says, "and I try to watch and listen to children whenever I'm around them."

Unlike many writers, Metzger admits he wasn't much of a reader as a child. He spent almost all of his childhood in Kew Gardens Hills in Queens NY, where he was far more interested in active play. "I didn't like to sit still for very long," says the writer—something that may have helped him with the verses for the kids who bounce, splash and high-five through The Way I Act.

Today Metzger lives near Central Park in a household focused on writing. Wife Nancy Novick writes on health and medicine, and daughter Julia has been the inspiration for some of Metzger's stories, most of which have been published as 32-page Scholastic paperbacks. You'll see many of them described at his web site.