Smile! It’s Contagious!

Catty smileIt sounds really simple, right?

That’s because it is! And it’s free! Not only that, but we carry smiles around with us all the time, tucked away like little rays of sunshine ready to peek out at any given moment to make someone feel special, or to say hello without even saying a word.

I have a confession to make, friends. I didn’t always know about how important smiling really was until a friendly classmate taught me. You see, I wasn’t always friendly. Imagine that! I, Catty Wompus, the upbeat smiler you all know today, am a recovering sour puss! But I’m here to tell you, I will never go back there again because I’ve seen the light! And that light is my smile and it’s your smile, too!

So give it a whirl, happy peeps! It’s contagious! Not like a cold, you understand. Contagious like happiness! And who doesn’t love happiness?

Surprises In The Mailbox!

What a great surprise I got today when I went to my mailbox and found two big envelopes from the fifth grade kids of Donlon Elementary.  They were full of fantastic artwork, signatures and thank you notes.

Big hugs to all the kids and teachers for sending me such a great treat!

And there’s more to come!  Check back with Catty’s website to see some of the clever suggestions and insightful feedback we got from the Donlon fifth-graders!



Catty Wompus at Donlon Elementary

Hello Catty fans!

You may have read on the FaceBook page that Donlon Elementary in Pleasanton, California invited me to come and speak during their Friendship Week that began on Monday, April 23rd. I had the honor of reading and discussing Catty Wompus: A Tale of Friendship to four fifth grade classes.

I was honored that Ms. Melissa Dragoo arranged for me to visit the school and meet all the cool kids and take part in their school-wide efforts to promote friendship, understanding and acceptance. I met so many awesome students and they even helped me with some ideas on the next installment in the Catty series entitled Catty Wompus and The New Kid! Yay! I have to say, those Donlon kids have it going on! They are smart, respectful and know how to make a visitor feel welcome and comfortable.

How’s this for a greeting? When I arrived, the first thing I saw were these super awesome welcome posters that Ms. Dragoo’s students had created for me. That’s what I call the ultimate welcome mat, Catty fans. You can add “amazing artists” to the long list of accolades I have for the students at Donlon Elementary.

Ms. Dragoon sent two lovely “ambassadors” to escort me to her room which was the first stop on the Catty-palooza tour. I felt like a rock star! When I got there, everyone gave me their full attention and made me feel right at home.

Donlon is one very cool school. Not only do they promote kindness and friendship but they care about animals, too! This is the pet food collection box that’s front and center outside the school office. I commend the administration at Donlon for instilling kindness toward our furry friends in need! Hey, that’s a good theme to look into for a Catty story, don’t you think? I came home and told my dogs, Tyson and Kobe about what good citizens the kids of Donlon are and they gave it two paws up!

A very special thanks goes out to Principal, Amy Simione, Attendance Secretary, Diana Boehmer and Administrative Secretary, Ruth Highstreet for their help in facilitating my visit and the fifth grade classroom teachers, Melissa Dragoo, Eryn Neidle, Michele Pollack and Melissa Schussel.

But most of all, I thank the DONLON STUDENTS! You kids rock! Stay cool, keep reading and always be kind to each other!

Your friend always,
Julie Howe

P.S. If any of you kids ever want to send me your stories to read, I would love to read them! Just send them to me via the “contact” link on the web-site: