I am a big Arnold Lobel fan! I started out wanting to be an illustrator and his work was my main inspiration. Once when I went to NY to show my portfolio I stopped in at Harper & Row (that's right-it was a long time ago if I am not calling it HarperCollins). The editor was very helpful and not only did she convince me to try and write my own books (I had never considered writing!) but she showed me Arnold's dummy book for his newest story at the time, Uncle Elephant. It was like seeing the holy grail. I felt so lucky!
A few years later I wrote to him care of Harper & Row and was very surprised when I got a note back. I told him I was not only a huge fan but had the chance to see his newest book ahead of time. I'll show his letter to you below. It reads:
Thanks so much for your letter and for your kind words about my work. It is good to know, during my frequent periods of creative poop-out that my work is a source of encouragement to others. Good luck with your career.
The letter has been framed and always sits above my desk.