Read it in a newspaper. No kidding -- a real toddler swallowed a tiny pet turtle. Wrote a picture book about it and got back great rejection letters. "Very funny but this would teach small children to swallow turtles." Great editor suggested writing a longer book (chapter book) and using that story as the last chapter.
If you want them to read my books don't tell them so. Maybe just leave around a paperback with a new cover and say, "I'm not sure you're ready for that."
The Betsy-Tacy books by Maude Hart Lovelace. Still wonderful books.
And at one point she answered "Have you ever gotten high with Gordon Korman and hooked up?" with "Not yet."
Judy Blume, you rule.