Happy Valentine’s Day to the Betty & Cat Crew

Five years after starting the Betty & Cat books, the crew has grown.  My husband  and chief valentine, Jeff Mann, continues to be the backbone of the operation, since without his encouragement, I would have thrown in the towel a dozen times.


Christine Duvernois and I didn’t know each other before we started on the books. Her illustrations are the first thing people notice – and love – about the books. Christine also spellchecks the French text.

Kirsten Veldhoen’s fierce defense of proper Dutch and Jannette Blom’s tempered stance on the subject ensure that the Dutch books don’t embarrass me.

Elodie Combes, former professor of plurilingualism at the University of Montreal, has introduced me through social media to scores of language enthusiasts – people who “get” the concept.

And of course, Rocío Ramos de Muller.  Rocío has been a real shot in the arm. A teacher herself, she approached me to do a Spanish version, and since I don’t speak Spanish, I declined – only to have her insist, and then do the interpretation herself. Rocío is also developing into an amazing salesperson –  the books were hardly off the press before they were on the shelves of the Toulouse Natural History Museum.

My friend and linguist Javier Dominguez, also a teacher, assured me that Rocío had done a great job!

Then there are the critters themselves. Betty was chien de tete for a musher before we adopted her. Cat just showed up in the barn seven years ago and has stayed (along with his brother Scaredy Cat, who remains feral). They’ve been joined by Bill, a rescue beagle who’s like a toddler with ADHD.

And of course all our readers!

I feel blessed. Happy Valentine’s day, dear Betty & Cat crew!


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