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Making Books With the Queen of the Universe

by | Dec 5, 2014 | Our Work | 4 comments

The other day, Alden and Robbi and I set out on a very special mission.


On one hand, we were walking her to school. Which is, don’t get me wrong, one of my favorite things to do.


But on this particular Monday morning, instead of dropping her off and heading back to the barn, we decided to stay.

Not only did we say, but we subjected Alden’s classmates to a healthy dose of our patented propaganda. Robbi, after introducing herself without a hint of irony as Queen of the Universe, read a book about a boy and his robot.


When the lights came back on, we attempted to dazzle students with our heart-wrenching classic The Super Hero Squad Flips Out.


After we shared our story and showed the kids our books, they got the chance to make some of their own.


They were quick studies and seemed to have a really good time. But we couldn’t quite tell if they were having a really good time or merely being polite.


The next day, when we opened Alden’s backpack, we found plenty of evidence to suggest that their enthusiasm was real. Her bag was full to bursting with thank you notes. We have chosen a few of our favorites to share with you all, but there were easily 40 pieces of fan mail. It may have been the single most gratifying moment of the past eight years.

As you read, please notice the extent to which the kids took Robbi’s self-professed title to heart.


Notice the extent to which the same child failed to notice that there was someone standing NEXT to Robbi.


Seriously, as I read note after note addressed to the Queen of the Universe, I began to wonder if I had done something wrong. Perhaps if I had claimed to be the Archduke of Newark, I would have fared better in the kids’ estimation.

One child credited Robbi for her very existence.


Eventually, I found a few notes the authors of which were gracious enough to include me.


Still, even when I was mentioned, I was always second fiddle to the Queen. Which is kind of how it is here at home, too. So I can’t say the position was especially unfamiliar.


This one is, perhaps, my favorite.


We would like to thank Mrs. Hopkins, author of the note below, for inviting us to spend the morning with the first graders of Garnett Elementary.


I’m not sure who got the better end of the deal, the kids for getting to meet the actual Queen of the Universe or me for getting to stand next to her. Regardless, fun was had by all.

Today we are off to Church Hill Elementary, for the sixth and final workshop of the fall season. If you or anyone you know might be interested in having us do a reading/presentation/workshop at a school, library, or community center, we would love to hear the details. Here is the publicity sheet we send out.

Screen-Shot-2014-12-04-at-9.27.57-PM Screen-Shot-2014-12-04-at-9.28.08-PM

If you’d like to download a copy, click here.






  1. steve

    Dear Archduke of Newark,

    Thank you for being

    • Stephanie Spencer

      Would you dare enter a classroom full of jaded, cynical, and snarky high school art students? I would love to invite you to visit me in my strange, wonderful realm. Unfortunately, Robbi may have to relinquish her title as I am the Queen Bee in my classroom.

  2. Robbi

    Stephanie – I swear, it is on our to-do list! Throw some dates at us and we’ll see what we can do!

  3. Matthew

    Dear Cad of Charlottesville,

    You’re welcome.



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