Miley, Demi, Selena–they’re what many little girls have been talking about until… Enter Alice—Too Tall Alice, that is. A real friend—well not exactly a “real” friend; she is illustrated—but she just could be the best pal a child can have.
Alice is tall, not T-Rex or Empire State Building tall, and she is the creation of writer Barbara Worton. In her first children’s book, Too Tall Alice, Worton explores the concept of self-esteem and the journey to discover the greatest gift of childhood— the strength to know down to your very bones who you are and as Alice says, “be exactly right for me.”
Self-esteem is a topic near and dear to Barbara, who believes we are born with the unalienable right to be happy, accepted, respected and loved for who we are. “When you love and believe in yourself,” says Barbara, “it’s a lot easier to stand up to bullies and peer pressure, and to know right down to your DNA that you have the right to live a happy and successful life.”
Barbara is a full-time writer, and sometimes that’s not an easy job. A number of years ago, she was at a low-point in her professional life and was thinking maybe it was time to find a new career—never mind that she has known she wanted to be a writer since she was twelve years old. Her friend and therapist who she sees from time to time, Noelle, suggested that Barbara write something just for the joy of it.
The next day, she started writing, and the first words that came into her head were “Alice was tall, “ and off it went. The story came out in one stream. Once Barbara had everything on paper, she edited to make the story work, but it was essentially all there. Barbara named the character Alice after the baby she lost in pregnancy whom she and her husband had intended to name Alice
Elizabeth Worton. Ever since then, Barbara has named every character
in her books Alice.
Even though she never became a mom, Barbara has found lots of ways
to share her talents with children in the neighborhood—through the Girl
Scouts of America and with her niece, whom she adores, and her niece’s
best friend. And while her husband, Geoff, is Barbara’s first love, she is
also a writer in love with Manhattan. With family roots stretching back to
the 1600s, it’s a part of who she is and how she thinks. While she and
Geoff may have moved across the river to New Jersey, she finds her way
into Manhattan several days a week to spend time in a city that feels more
like a friend than a place.
Barbara Worton is the publisher and executive editor of Great Little Books, LLC. She’salso the author of Bedtime Stories: The short, long and tall tales of a sleepwriter. Barbara has been published in national literary, consumer and business publications. Her story, “London Calling,” is featured in Memories of
John Lennon edited by Yoko Ono. The play she co-wrote with Linda
Dini Jenkins, If I’m Talking, Why Aren’t You Listening?, has been
staged in New York City, Boston and Rutherford, New Jersey, and
received outstanding reviews.
Right out of college, where she earned a BA in
journalism and creative writing, Barbara was an
editorial assistant at Pyramid Books. After that,
she freelanced at Pinnacle as an editor/ghostwriter
and then went on to Berkeley Putnam. In 1978,
she moved to England and freelanced at a number of
British publishers. She returned to New York
in 1980 and worked as an advertising copywriter
for 12 years before leaving to be a freelance
Today, Barbara lives in Glen Rock and Cape May,
New Jersey, with her husband, Geoff. A student of
Frank Lloyd Wright built their home, and Barbara
has made restoring it to its prairie-style roots one
of her favorite pastimes. Her home office is the one
place she doesn’t hold to her high design standards.
Her shelves and desk are stacked with favorite books,
toys, her Minnie Mouse collection and erasers shaped
like cakes,cookies and ice cream.