The sun was shining brightly as I walked into Howbert Elementary School yesterday morning. Ms. Tindell’s kindergarten was buzzing with activity and the children were excited about the special story they had been promised.
Kindergarteners are an amazing breed of children…shy, friendly, talkative, quiet, happy, sad, easy to please, hard to satisfy…sometimes all of those in just one hour!
Some of the children had heard Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus before. One child said he had a copy at his house. All were eager to hear the story about a little tiger that can’t read, write, draw, eat neatly or talk. When Leo’s father asks when his son will learn to do these things, Leo’s mother tells him to have patience.
A dozen hands shot up when I asked if anyone knew the definition of the word “patience”. Here are some of the answers they gave me…“When you have to wait for something.”, “If you can’t go out to play right now and have to wait for later.”, “Being patient.”
When the story was over, I asked the children if they remembered what Leo had learned and again, I was impressed with how attentively they had listened to the story.
Then I showed the children my sample of the daisy chain craft project we would be making and I explained how we would be decorating each strip of construction paper before we used a glue stick to form them into links of the chain. It is really amazing to watch young children when you give them arts and crafts supplies! There were strips with hearts, flowers, letters, dots, stripes…each child’s chain was a unique expression of his own creativity!
It was time for me to go to the kindergarten next door for the second presentation and while the children got their coats on to go outside for recess, I said goodbye to them…several rushed up to give me a special hug and tell me how much they loved the story and craft project. There’s no need to ask why I love doing the Show-Me-How Story-time program!
After the second presentation, I still had one more task…a very pleasant one! Observing the second story and craft program was a student from Coronado High School who had requested an interview with me as part of a job shadow program. This wonderful young lady has hopes of becoming a children’s book illustrator and had many questions to ask me: how do you start to write and illustrate a book, what tools do you use, how long does it take, where and how do you get your book published? I had brought along a copy of the original mock-up I did of The Balloon Man, a picture book for toddlers and preschoolers that teaches colors.
I also brought the professional illustrations that were done for the book by my talented daughter-in-law. I know the Coronado High School student enjoyed reading the rhyming text and seeing how the illustrations helped bring the book to life.
Some of the advice I gave her: follow your dream, keep a portfolio of your best work, check online for blogs or websites of other picture book illustrators…many of them are extremely generous and I know she will find a wealth of valuable information on them.
By the way, there’s a new review of Show Me How! by Jenny of MyLittleMe. This is the book I use for all of my school and library programs…open it up and you have the picture book summary, parenting tip and space to record your child’s highlights on the left side…and the EASY eco-friendly craft activity and QUICK child-friendly healthful recipe on the right side. Check out the review to find out why this book is a MUST-HAVE for parents, grandparents, preschool and kindergarten teachers, daycare providers, babysitters and nannies…virtually anyone who is involved in the care of children ages 2-7. Pick up several copies at the 50% off price…ONLY $19.95 on my website or you can purchase it on Amazon. Make it a unique holiday gift…I’ll be happy to sign and personally inscribe each brand-new copy!