Happy Friday! I hope you had a productive and wonderful reading week. I love ending a busy school week by inviting a children's literature advocate to finish my sentences. This week's special guest is author Lola M. Schaefer. We chatted about her latest picture book, reading, writing, and my yearly literary road trip. I wrote the words in red, and she wrote the words in black. Many thanks, Lola, for finishing my sentences.
Lifetime is hopefully one of those books that children and adults will read and then say, “What a great idea!” True confessions. My whole life I’ve been teased about my estimations. When someone asked me how many peaches were on our small tree this year, I said, “About 27.” Not 25 or 30, because 25 seemed a bit too low and 30 sounded like too many. So what better book for me to write?
Christopher Silas Neal’s illustrations are absolutely perfect! I never imagined that this book would include fine art, but it does! However . . . Chris must have had a difficult time keeping his concentration when he had to make 900 flowers or 1,000 seahorses. What a pro!
I hope Lifetime offers three things:
a good read,
a jumpstart for closer observation of the world,
and an understanding that math is a constant part of our lives.
Just One Bite and One Special Day were complete opposites in the making. Just One Bite took TONS of research with experts around the world – about a year of fact-checking. One Special Day was a gift book. I started to make lunch one day and the words flew into my head. So I put everything back into the refrigerator, rushed upstairs to my computer and wrote it. (Why doesn’t that happen more often?)
The 2014 Amicalola Picture Book Writers’ Retreat will be a time for creative minds to come together and look at literature with a critical eye. This coming June, award-winning picture book author Jo Kittinger is joining me and together we will offer attendees a time of deep reflection and productivity. We’re hosting the retreat here in the mountains of north Georgia where waterfalls and scenic hiking trails bring out the best in all of us.
Reading is necessary to an open mind. It makes us think. Even if we disagree with what we read, we are weighing that information against what we already believe or know. That act alone can bring about a deeper understanding, or a desire to read more. I believe that not only should all children be taught how to read, but they need to be exposed to great literature and provided time for thoughtful conversations.
Picture books are the best of literature in tiny packages. Each picture, each word needs to pack a wallop both in meaning and emotional appeal. Picture books might not be big, but they sure are mighty!
Mr. Schu, you should have asked me what I love about Watch. Connect. Read. Everything! From your interviews to the giveaways to the book trailers – it’s all GREAT! However your Reading Road Trip video is one of my favorite posts. Traveling 6,000 miles with a few wonderful books sounds like heaven to me!