MEET SALLY SAFFER
Throughout Sally’s life, both personally and professionally, she has pursued her interest in writing and drawing. Early on she wrote and drew for her own pleasure. After learning to paint and having exhibited her artwork for sale, she entered college part-time to take courses in design and communications. Eventually receiving a degree in business communication at age 35, she went to work for IBM.
Using her technical knowledge while still at IBM, she developed instructional materials for education. She also spent time in the classroom, talking with high school and college students about career development and technology. Eventually, she left IBM to start her own consulting company, creating training materials for corporations, government agencies, and educational institutions. During that time, her work involved employee self-managed personal and professional development.
Today, Sally uses her writing and drawing skills to create stories for elementary school-aged children. She has recently introduced the first four stories in a series entitled, Learning to be Wise. The books provide youngsters with a series of life lessons while teaching Aphorisms. Once commonly used to teach values and common sense to children, these age-old sayings are seldom heard today.
Sally credits her late mother with teaching her and her siblings values, insight, and common sense through the use of these old sayings. She explains that while aphorisms were a large part of her upbringing, she didn’t actually know they were called Aphorisms; she called them ‘Maryisms’ because her mother’s name was Mary and she thought her mother had made them up. Now, inspired by her own grandchildren, she is committed to passing along these important lessons to future generations through her entertaining stories.
Sally grew up in New York State, dreaming of being a writer and living in a small town. After many years of living and working in the large city of Atlanta, Georgia, she has at last realized that dream and is living in a small historic town just outside of Atlanta.
MEET LITTLE WISE GUY
The cute little owl that appears on the book covers and in places throughout each story was created to be the symbol for the entire Learning to be Wise series. He came into being as the symbol of what the stories are about. Everybody knows owls are smart, and this little guy is smart, too. His name came about in an interesting way.
After Sally had created the first two books, she decided to pay a visit to a third-grade class. She wanted to find out if the children liked the books and were able to read them. Just as the children finished one of the books, a young girl in the room raised her hand. She asked Sally what the owl’s name was. Sally had to admit that she hadn’t yet given it a name. Right then, she decided to have a contest so the children could name the owl.
First, she asked the children to draw a picture of an owl. When they had finished, she asked each one to show the rest of the class his/her drawing and vote for the one they liked best. She had explained that the winner would name the owl. Once the votes were counted, the boy whose drawing received the most votes named him Little Wise Guy.
Little Wise Guy appears in each of the books to remind readers that all of the stories are meant to help teach them wisdom. If the lessons within the stories are applied, their lives will be easier and more fun.