ID: Megan Lambert

Last modified: Thursday, May 15, 2014

Megan Lambert lived in the Valley when she was a student at Smith College in the mid-1990s, returned in 1999 and has been here ever since. After nearly a decade working in the education department of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, she now teaches in the Simmons College graduate programs in children’s literature on the Boston campus and in the college’s satellite site at The Carle. Her own writing career is taking off with two books coming out next year (“Storytime Stories: A Whole Book Approach to Reading Picture Books with Children” and “A Crow of His Own.”)

Full name: Megan Dowd Lambert

Date and place of birth: May 6, 1976, in Bennington, Vermont

Address: South Amherst

Job: In addition to teaching and writing, I review children’s books for Kirkus Reviews and contribute to a column on family reading in The Horn Book magazine

Who lives under the same roof as you? My fiancé, Sean St. Marie, and my children (who split their time between my house and their home with their other mom and her partner)

Children: Rory, 17; Natayja, 15; Emilia, 10; Stevie, 9; and Caroline, 8

Education: Bachelor’s degree from Smith, 1996; master’s degree in children’s literature from Simmons, 2002

Hobbies: Reading, going to museums and concerts, bird-­watching, beachcombing for sea glass, taking walks in my neighborhood, and my fiancé is starting to get me into hiking and canoeing

Book you’d recommend to a friend: “Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity” by Andrew Solomon

Favorite movie/TV show: I love stories in all forms, so there are many television series that I enjoy, and I’ll go to just about any movie. The only genre I can’t watch is horror because I am embarrassingly prone to fainting, which also means that I watch some scenes of warfare or medical drama through covered eyes

Five items you can’t live without: On the practical side: minivan, iPhone, laptop, big chest freezer in my basement and washing machine. On the sentimental side: engagement ring, collection of Christmas ornaments handed down by my great-­grandmother, the sweater that my grandmother knit and that three of my children wore home from the hospital as newborns, my childhood copy of “Anne of Green Gables,” photo albums of my kids growing up

What’s at the top of your bucket list? Seeing my kids grow up into adulthood, and working with the other loving adults in their lives to prepare them to step out onto those paths with independence, confidence and a sense of self

Life-changing experience: Having my first child at 20, less than a year after graduating from college

Strangest job you ever held: Fudge­ cutter at a candy shop in a beachy, tourist town

A little­ known fact about you: I’ve sent a postcard to my grandparents almost every day for the past two years

Dumbest thing you ever did: The main regrets I have arise from times when I shut myself off from people instead of giving them the benefit of the doubt, or instead of giving them the time and space to offer the same to me

One trend you’d like to see return: Snail mail correspondence. I love to send out letters, cards and postcards to keep in touch with people

What really sets you off? Gossip. The old line, “Be kind — everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” is the best antidote to its indulgence. And the sound of someone biting into ice or popsicles

Worst advice you ever got: Don’t adopt through the foster system. My then-­wife and I adopted four children and can’t imagine life without them. Hundreds of children are waiting for forever families in Massachusetts, alone, and I hope readers who are at all curious about adoption will follow through with the calling to become adoptive families

Your favorite sports team: The Boston Red Sox

What does your ideal weekend look like? Dinner with my family and our neighbors on Friday night, getting outside on Saturday to see my kids participate in activities, with neighborhood children in and out of the house all day, a cookout and baseball or family movie entertainment in the evening, getting lots of writing and other work done on Sunday and then going out for dinner or having some other fun with my fiancé and his family

One thing you would change about yourself: Find more time to exercise and to spend outdoors

Whom do you most admire? My children’s birth parents, and all birth parents, who make the difficult and loving choice of adoption

Parting shot: “Help. Thanks. Wow.” Anne Lamott used these three everyday words in a recent book, and she calls them “the three essential prayers.” To those words I’d add, “I’m sorry” “I forgive you” and “Tell me more about that” as deceptively simply phrases with the power to transform relationships and lives when used with generosity and sincerity

— Compiled by Brenda Nelson

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