Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Reading is Magic

Reading to children is magic. Together, with a book, we can discover new and exciting things. We can swim with sharks, sail across oceans, go to outer space, discover dinosaurs, uncover monsters, laugh until our sides hurt, and learn about things we’ve never seen before. The possibilities are endless. All it takes is one word, one page, one book at a time.

Lately, my daughter and I have been immersed in the magic of Harry Potter. Each night we sit down and read a chapter (or two or three if my daughter can help it). It is fun sharing this with her. She gets so excited each night. She cannot wait to see what happens next. And every night she gets to discover something new about wizards and witches, wands and spells, broomsticks and flying, potions and cauldrons, castles and sorting hats, and so much more. Without books, this would not be possible. We would not be able to share this experience together. She would know nothing of this exciting and magical world.

I am glad that there are so many good books. I love that all I have to do is open one, and my children and I can be taken to a place we have never been before. Or we can open a book and revisit a place we love again and again. There is no limit to the places we can go, or the things we can see. Reading really is its own kind of magic.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Cumulative Picture Books

I had the chance to go to my son’s classroom again this week, and teach more about writing and picture books. This time I taught them about the cumulative picture book structure. Cumulative stories add repeating elements as the story progresses. When a new event occurs in the story, the previous events are repeated. Basically, the plot builds on itself. These stories can rhyme, but they do not have to.

The kids really enjoyed the cumulative stories. We read: THERE WAS AN OLD LADY WHO SWALLOWED A FLY by Lucille Colandro, and THERE WAS AN OLD MONKEY WHO SWALLOWED A FROG by Jennifer Ward. We then had an activity where the kids created their own cumulative stories. It was so much fun, and the kids really enjoyed it. There were a lot of giggles and smiles. And they were so creative. They came up with many unique ideas. Leave it to a kid to come up with the silliest and most outrageous concepts. That is exactly why writers need to think like a kid. That’s when creativity is at its best.

I am so happy that I get this chance to teach these children. I love being around them. I love their energy and excitement. I love how much they love books and writing. I love their zest to learn anything new. And I love that they love picture books as much as I do.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Share the Love of Picture Books

I had the opportunity to go to my son’s classroom and talk, read, and teach about picture books. It was a lot of fun. His teacher even loved it so much that she asked me to come back twice a month. I am excited. I love picture books, and getting to share that love with children is the best. There is nothing like seeing a child’s eyes light up when they hear a story for the first time. Or the excitement they have when they see a book they love. Kids make books magical. They are the reason I write. I am grateful that I get to share this love of picture books with my son’s class.