I decided never to mention the flaw in my grandmother’s gift, because I didn’t want to hurt her feelings.
You see, I knew that it was very naughty to write in books, and my new copy of Dinotopia had been written in. Right on the title page, somebody had used a gold pen to write, “To Jennifer: Follow Your Dreams.” At age 8, I could read those fancy printed letters. Underneath that message, however, the somebody had written his or her name in mystifying cursive.
It was okay, I decided. The writing was only on the title page. Ramona Quimby had been much naughtier in Beezus and Ramona, when she wrote on every page of the library book. This writing didn’t keep me from enjoying the pictures or the story.
I read Dinotopia over and over. My teacher showed us how to write cursive. Finally, I knew enough cursive to decipher the somebody’s name. I realized that he was James Gurney, the man who wrote and drew Dinotopia!
I ran to my mom.
“James Gurney signed his name in my Dinotopia book!”
“Yes. Your grandmother stood in line for a very long time to get him to sign his name in your book!”