From my Archives

I just came across this old clipping about an author visit I did in Winchester, MA. It was a special day because I was reading my very first book, What Should a Hippo Wear?, to my adorable nephew’s kindergarten class. Matthew (top left) and I were pretty excited that I was coming to his school! Note the date…
I guess I’ve been doing this a long time!

My Favorite New Reader

When a grandma gets to read to her own grandson, it’s pretty special! Lately, Caleb (my 10 month old adorable, sweet grandson) has begun to interact with books and not just eat them! Some photograph proof below:

7 months old (not mentioning my own age)…hmm…this book looks interesting!

 

10 months…I can turn the pages and pat that bunny!

Reading is fun!

 

Chicks in School

Recently I was invited to do an author visit at Memorial Elementary School in Natick. This was a special treat because the first graders are raising chicks and studying not only chickens, but also other animals that lay eggs!
First I read my picture book What’s Up with This Chicken? and then talked about my inspiration for the book…

Slide of The Blank Page: Where do I get my ideas?                                                            Do YOU ever struggle with how to start?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inspiration: My friend Fay and her chickens!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we talked about chickens and chicks. I was amazed! and impressed! with how well they had listened to the book. The plot deals with the concept of broody hens, who refuse to get off their eggs despite their being non-fertilized, due to a super-maternal instinct.
I asked each group, “Why won’t Broody Trudy get off her eggs?”
The answers were wonderful. One of my favorites was a little boy who explained calmly, “Because she thinks there’s an embryo inside.”

And Fay’s real story turned into this book!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I asked the students to tell me things about chickens I might not know, and almost every hand shot up! I ended up learning a lot from these first graders, whose teachers are clearly doing a great job.
PS: And I got to visit a classroom and see their adorable little fluffball chicks!

Thank you, Memorial School!

Farm Fun

For some unknown reason I seem to be on an alliteration kick (see 2 posts down, about the Kindness event)…but the Story Time I did last Saturday was indeed farm fun. I had a great time sharing my 2 farm animal-themed books, playing a rhyming game, and…OK, I’ll show you the rest through photos…

Acting volunteers did a great job portraying protagonist Sylvia trying to scare Trudy the Broody Chicken off her eggs! (I assigned myself the part of Grandma, only fitting!)

Lexington Community Farm sells wonderful plants and in season vegetables. After the story hour I bought some gorgeous tomato, basil and pansy flats for my husband, the alliterative Al, to plant in our garden.

Look! The egg carton turned into 1 of Trudy’s chicks!

How You Gonna Keep Me…

The old song asks, “How you gonna keep me back on the farm…” But in my case, it’s “How you gonna keep me away from the farm?”
This Saturday I’ll be back (for the third time!) at Lexington Community Farm for a special story time.

 

 

 

Saturday May 20, 2017
10:00-11:00 AM
I’ll read two farm-themed picture books:
What’s Up With this Chicken? – based on a true story about a hen who refuses to get off her eggs – and Don’t Call Me Sidney, about a pig who wants to be a poet.

At this event for all ages ($5 per child), I’ll run interactive activities based on the stories and answer questions about being an author. Attendees can purchase signed books. Plants and seedlings for sale too, and you can visit the real life farm animals, including alpacas!
sign up in advance 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fabulous breaking news: Lexington Community Farm has just become Certified Organic!!

Month of Kindness Kick-off Kinda Cool

Sorry, couldn’t resist the opportunity for alliteration in the subject line. It was fun to be back at Barnes and Noble, where children’s book author Linda DeFruscio-Robinson and I shared our books as part of the Massachusetts Month of Kindness.
(And it never gets old to see one’s own smiling face on an event poster.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two more things that never get old: Reading one of my books to little listeners (OK, grown-ups too)…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…and signing books!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you so much to Community Business Development Manager Dominic Copeland and the lovely staff in the Barnes and Noble Children’s Book Department for inviting me back!

 

Great Event this Saturday, May 6th

I’m really looking forward to this Saturday, when I’ll be part of an awareness and fundraising event kicking off the Month of Kindness in Massachusetts.

From 12-2 PM at the Burlington, MA Barnes and Noble, I will read my picture book WHAT’S UP WITH THIS CHICKEN? and run interactive games and crafts. Fellow author Linda DeFruscio-Robinson will share her book, GINGER AND MOE AND THE INCREDIBLE COINCIDENCE, and related art activities.

A portion of sales proceeds will go to the organization that inspired the Month of Kindness. It’s called HELPIS, or HelpMeHelpSomeone, Inc., whose mission is “to encourage and promote good and charitable deeds by groups and individuals for the purpose of helping someone needing help.” Thanks to them, the month of May each year celebrates “…a spirit of sharing…giving help and saluting those who promote generosity and kindness.”

Saturday’s event at the Burlington store will feature speakers and lots of fun activities for kids from 12-4 PM. Come by and have fun, and help kick off the Official Month of Kindness!

Who Doesn’t Love Fan Mail?

I certainly love fan mail. And when it comes from students in schools I visited, it’s a special treat. Whenever a thick padded envelope arrives with the return address of an elementary school, I sit down and savor each letter. Besides expressing gratifying reactions, they’re often accompanied with charming artwork based on my talk and/or books.
With younger children, I usually explain how an idea eventually becomes a book. But with older students, I talk about character development, revising, descriptive writing – whatever the school requests. I love discovering which points stuck with particular students. And I love the notes that are not just from the head but from the heart, too.
Here are a few of my recent faves sent by upper grade elementary students. (I removed senders’ names.)

Authory-ness 2016, the Finish Line

Last but certainly not least of my winter 2016 appearances and other “authory” activities was a Hanukkah Story Time featuring yours truly, Esther’s Hanukkah Disaster, and my big bag of props for question and answer games based on the story. It’s always fun to see how different children respond, often in unexpected ways! This story time was at An Unlikely Story, the vibrant and attractive bookstore in Plainville, MA created by the one and only Jeff Kinney.

My friend Molly not only kept me company on the drive but held the pictures up so I could concentrate on reading with expression (see photo). We had a ball, and afterwards, bought books and lunch in the café!

                                                               Thank you, Molly!

Resuming…End of 2016 Authory-ness # 5

OK, now that the honeymoon is over for the newlyweds (no, I didn’t mean it like that…my daughter and her new husband are back from their wonderful trip to Hawaii), it’s high time for me to get back to my report on the (snow) flurry of end-of-the-year authory activities.

The panel discussion “Pen to Paper: An Exploration of Writing,” part of the Munroe Center for the Arts Saturday Nights series, turned out to be entertaining and interesting. We had authors in different genres talking about their creative processes and sharing excerpts of their varied work. Other panelists were memoirist Cynthia Anderson, (One Foot in Front of the Other: A Widow’s Journey), Don Cohen (numerous short stories and plays), scientist and educator Abby Hafer (Intelligent Design, The Not-So-Intelligent Designer: Why Evolution Explains the Human Body and Intelligent Design Does Not), and novelist Erin McCormack (Black Eyes in Blue Wonderland).

Moderator Merrill Meadow did a terrific job asking thought-provoking questions and had clearly done his homework reading our books!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As for my me, the lone children’s book author, I had fun reading my picture book Don’t Call Me Sidney to adults. They responded enthusiastically to the humor in the story, and I didn’t have to worry about potential discipline problems!
Kudos to the organizers and participants and the audience members, who asked interesting questions and braved a bitterly cold, snowy evening!

Thanks to panelist Abby Hafer for turning the pages for me!