A Week of Kids, Kids, Kids

Last week was action-packed for me – a writer whose usual day consists of trips to Starbucks, the library, the grocery and periodic lunches or dinners out with my husband and/or friends. On Tuesday, I drove 180 miles round-trip to and from a school author visit. I have no clue about how this principal stumbled across my web site, but I am glad she did. It was a long but fulfilling day spent with lively students. They were great listeners, excellent questioners, and good readers who laughed in all the right places at my PowerPoint presentation about my books, Seeds, Bees, Butterflies, and More! Poems for Two Voices (for grades 3-5) and Little Red Bat (for grades K and 1).

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The older kids were excited to step up to the microphone in pairs to read my poems aloud. The younger ones were fascinated by my slide show about the amazing characteristics of red bats, and the devotion of the man featured in my presentation who feeds and rehabilitates injured bats before releasing them.  The little kids also loved petting my life-size little red bat puppet. Later, using my lesson extension activities, all the students worked with their teachers on brainstorming and writing their own (non-rhyming) butterfly and bat poems.

On Friday, I spent the morning with a group of kindergarteners celebrating Earth Day at Stratford Nature Preserve, a 200-acre working farm where I volunteer one morning a week. It was a dreary, muddy, sloppy day. But that didn’t stop us from pulling on our boots and planting a tree before moving onto other adventures:  visiting the new piglets, tossing bread to the fish in the pond, playing on a makeshift teeter-totter, and petting the baby goats. IMG_0912

Saturday was the Ohioana Book Fair downtown, where 120 Ohio writers and illustrators who’ve had books published in the current year gather to sign and sell their wares, serve on panels, and meet our readers. I sold a fair number of books, met the Cincinnati illustrator of my book, The Twelve Days of Christmas in Ohio, and shared a table with a woman who illustrated my Little Red Bat and Annie Jump Cannon, Astronomer books. Despite editors attempts to keep us from directly communicating while the books were in progress, we became friends and have kept in touch via email. We hadn’t spent time together in two years, though, so it was fun to spend eight full hours catching up.

We even found time to befriend a large mouse. Not sure whose book he was attached to, but he was certainly photogenic!IMG_0913 It was also fun to meet in person the parents and teachers who buy my books and the children who read them. After thumbing through the five titles on my table, a grandmother bought Tuck-in-Time for her toddler grandchild who has night terrors. She felt the loving words spoken by the mother in my book, that ends with a goodnight kiss, would help make bedtime less of a struggle.   

Please understand that the purpose of this post is not to talk about myself. (Since I’m the writer I know best, it is – by necessity – all about moi.) The point is that all of us need to be reminded that our work matters. Whether our books are funny or heartfelt, true or figments of our imaginations, adults are reading them to young children and older children are reading them for themselves.  Now and again, it’s nice for introverted writers to meet and greet our “peeps.” It makes all those hours of sitting alone and thinking, writing, and revising (and revising some more) worthwhile.

 

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14 Comments

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14 responses to “A Week of Kids, Kids, Kids

  1. Kids, kids, kids sounds wonderful.

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  2. It was! However, I am “in recovery” this week enjoying my solitude and my chai latte as I stare at my computer screen and try to write.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. mariagianferrari

    It looks like you had a blast, but I hear you as an introvert too! Carole! It’s good to have the quiet and space to re-charge. And I’ll join you with a chai–one of my favorite drinks 😉

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  4. Thanks, Maria. Yes, it is exciting for us introverts to get out and about in short doses. I’d raise my chai cup to you, but I emptied it pretty quickly this morning! 🙂

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  5. tpierce

    What a fabulous week, Carole, and a great reminder that ultimately our work is about and for KIDS.

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  6. It is, indeed! I can’t imagine writing for children if I didn’t enjoy spending time with them as well. 🙂

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  7. Elly Swartz

    So true. The heart of writing for kids, is, well, the kids! And maybe the life-size bat puppet! Sounds like you had a very special week!

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  8. Yes, it was fun. The life-size little red bat puppet is a big draw. Kids love petting her and shaking her wings. I should probably get her dry cleaned!

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  9. What a lovely and energetic week, Carole! I imagine it was rewarding to mingle among the young readers who are your audience. We authors must emerge from our writing caves to energize ourselves and kids. Congratulations!

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  10. kathyduval

    I loved reading about your fun and productive week. Yes, kids – that’s what it’s all about!

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  11. Yep! I really enjoyed them over and over and over last week. 🙂

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  12. Your week sounds delightful, Carole! I love the description of your school visit! I know the students enjoyed it and learned a lot!

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