Couple’s works will live ‘together forever’ in the Library of Congress

JANUARY 28, 2018 … The love story of a voracious reader and her adoring husband of 62 years has the sweetest of endings with the recent release of A Cheese With Whiskers (A Life in Print, 2018), a charming children’s book written by the late Rhoda Fishman Sandler which has been published posthumously by her husband, Henry J. Sandler of Ardsley, NY.

After his wife passed away five years ago at age 85, Henry Sandler discovered the manuscript in a folder among her belongings. The longtime librarian wrote the book in 1990 mostly for her amusement and tried unsuccessfully to have it published. Henry, now 94, took it upon himself to have the story illustrated and printed for others to enjoy.

“Rhoda always wanted us to be together. During my career as a chemical engineer, I wrote a book which was published by McGraw Hill,” explains Sandler. “I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh,’ if I could get Rhoda’s book published, we could be together forever in the Library of Congress.”

A Cheese With Whiskers is the tale of a mouse named Willy Nilly who wants for nothing. Willy Nilly has plenty to eat, a cozy nest and a home safe from cats and other dangers. But he is bored and has no one to share his good fortune with. The lonely mouse sneaks into his homeowners’ luggage and finds himself in Paris where he discovers dozens of new cheeses, including a special one with “whiskers” which turns out to be the lovely little mouse, Souriette. It is clear from the start they are destined to spend the rest of their days sharing their passion for cheese, and one another. 

While Henry remains unsure of the inspiration for the main character, he believes Rhoda may have penned the tale for their grandson who would have been four years old at the time. As for the setting, there is no doubt why she chose the City of Love. The couple spent three years living in France thanks to Rhoda urging Henry to apply for a job with a French company she saw advertised in one of his engineering magazines. Henry estimates through their more than six-decade marriage they took between 15 and 20 trips to Europe. 

“What I love most about the book is how Rhoda’s personality comes through the story, especially her adventurous spirit and passion for traveling,” Sandler says. “She was the love of my life and it is an honor to share a little bit of her with the world through her writing.”

A Cheese With Whiskers is available for $10.95 at

About the Author
Rhoda Fishman Sandler was born in Pennsylvania in February 1927. She received a four year scholarship from the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1949, and later received a degree in Library Science from Drexel University. Rhoda worked as an audio-visual librarian at Montgomery County Community College outside of Philadelphia for many years. She was an avid reader of everything from novels to non-fiction. Her passions included history and politics, she covered the 1948 Democratic convention for her school paper and her and her husband would volunteer in political campaigns. Rhoda’s letters appeared frequently on the editorial pages of The Philadelphia Inquirer. For most of her life, she kept meticulous journals and in the back pages of each journal, she would list all the books she had read in the previous year along with short reviews. Although she was often encouraged by close friends to pen a book she would say she would rather read than write. Rhoda and Henry were married in 1950 and had two daughters, Alexandra Dylan and Jessica Thoreau. 

About the Illustrators
Jennifer and Madeline Lange are a mother-daughter design team from Bucks County. Jen is a very experienced art director and illustrator. She has designed numerous websites, illustrated books, created greeting cards and posters, and even made decorations for the White House Christmas in 2015. Madeline, 14, has inherited her mother’s talent in design. She is an honors student in high school, Odyssey of the Mind participant, and a talented photographer as well.


A Life in Print
Beth Smith