The talented young illustrator for my Not Really picture book series, Karina Matkevych, lives in Ukraine. The last I heard from her, she said, “We have our emergency packs ready.” The second book in the Not Really series, The Terrible Day (Not Really): Let’s Count by Twos, to be illustrated by Karina, is on indefinite hold, and rightly so.

Why now? We’ve just come through one crisis. The entire world has worked together to conquer a virus that killed millions. The planet has cooperated in unprecedented ways. And it appears to be doing so again to support Ukraine. What if this global effort represents a reduction, a change, maybe even an end to war as we know it? I am keeping Karina, her family, and her country in my thoughts.