I loved my author visit at Baileywick Road Elementary today. I was fortunate to visit with the K Kiddos and 1st graders. It was quite the treat as the kids have been reading my story in preparation for the visit, they knew exactly what to expect.
Now, with the K Kiddos I do talk about the publishing process, and make it extremely simple for them to understand. I relate my editing process to that of an Oreo Cookie. That’s right, I have the kids tell me something about an Oreo Cookie. Their responses are generally, “It’s round.” “It’s sweet.” I then have them close their eyes and pretend to hold an Oreo Cookie, by using our five senses we delve into the true quality of an Oreo Cookie. “Feel the Oreo Cookie, twist it apart and lick the frosting out of the middle, smell the Oreo Cookie and finally, take a bite.” When they open their eyes, they are able to tell me much more about an Oreo Cookie. “It has three parts.” “It has texture on the outside.” “It’s creamy and chocolatey.” This is a great lesson on using our five senses to add detail to our stories.
After we talk about editing our stories, I introduce them to the concept of a publisher. For this age group I explain that a publisher is the company who prints the book and gets it into bookstores. Without them, I would have only stapled pieces of paper to sell at the stores, and would anyone really buy that?? They all grasp the idea that writers are lucky to have publishers bring their stories to (hardcover) life.
The first graders were filled to the brim with questions about the illustration process. Now, beyond the general stick figure, I don’t have a talent for drawing. However, my illustrators have taught me a great deal about the process and I’m thrilled to be able to answer all illustration questions with confidence. One student asked me how the illustrators keep the paper from curling when using watercolor. What a BRILLIANT question for a first grader to ask. Lucky for me, I had an original illustration from my second book in my bag and was able to show them the difference between regular paper and watercolor paper (watercolor paper being thicker with more texture).
What a cool experience the students and I had. Parents were also invited to join in on the fun, I love how involved and excited they are for their kiddos.