Friday, November 22, 2013

Author Bonny Becker

Author Bonny Becker Skyped with my first graders on Tuesday. She read A Birthday for Bear, took them on a tour of her home office, and answered questions about her writing process. Bonny Becker's books (say that really fast three times) should be included in every Picture Book Month celebration. 


I am thrilled Bonny dropped by Watch. Connect. Read. to finish my sentences. We chatted about picture books, school libraries, and reading. I wrote the words in red, and she wrote the words in black. Thank you, Ms. Bonny Becker! 



My Mouse and Bear books are the easiest and most fun books I’ve ever written. It took 20 years for them to be “easy.” And easy still means that it takes at least a year to perfect one, but I know these characters deep in my heart. I love to figure out ways to torment my grouchy Bear and ways to bring him around to his sentimental side. I tap into my childhood and the things I did with my five siblings including seeing who could whisper the quietest to popping out in unexpected places.



Margot Frogtayne and Enrico Escargot are names I’m delighted to hear. Holbrook, A Lizard’s Tale didn’t seem to get much attention when it came out, but I had such fun figuring out this story about a lizard who wants to be an artist. It was fun to work in references to great artists of all kinds.


   

If you were a student in Ms. Plum’s class I’d figure out a way to get into the closet no matter what. Magic, magic, magic. I was in love with the idea of magical worlds as child. I wanted to get to the land of Oz the way kids today want to go to Hogwarts. And I was lucky because magic was breaking out all over when I was a child reader from C.W. Lewis’s Narnia to Edward Eager’s Half-Magic series to Mary Poppins.



The E.B. White Read Aloud Award is the most meaningful award I ever received, because E.B. White is my personal author hero. E.B. White said, “All I ever want to say, all I hope to say is I love the world.” And I think he does just that. His books are so life affirming. So beautifully crafted, so full of heart. I aspire to be him when I grow up.


School libraries are an oasis of color and imagination. Whenever I go into a school library I think of when I was a library assistant in the third grade. Those were the days when the date was stamped onto the library card. I loved being able to rotate the little wheel to change the date on the stamp and to decisively stamp the due date on each card. I felt so important. So special and I loved being surrounded by all those books. Today’s school libraries have computers and electronic checkout, but it’s still the same thing. They remain magical places. 

Picture books are craft. Almost more than any other form picture books require precision. Every word is important, as is every detail of the illustrations. And the two need to work together. When they do, you get something more than the sum of the parts and I love that about them.





Reading is fun, entertaining, informative, challenging, an escape, truth, lies, dreams, facts, timeless, timely, a grain of sand and the universe.


Mr. Schu, you should have asked me about my collection of images that feature books. I have hundreds of images of readers and books from fine art to cartoons, from the surreal the super-real, books and readers in the spring and summer, winter and fall. Books feature in so much art. I post one about once a week on Facebook and Twitter. Here’s one that captures for me what libraries and librarians are all about.



I am giving away three copies of A Birthday for Bear


1. The Giveaway will run from 11/22 to 11:59 p.m. on 11/24. 

2. You must be at least 13. 

3. Please pay it forward. 



1 comment:

  1. Oh, I hope I win a copy of A BIRTHDAY FOR BEAR as a birthday present for ME! :D

    ReplyDelete