Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Chicago - It's My Kind of Town

Sorry for the delay in posts. I was in Chicago visiting friends, visiting a school and having a pre-birthday celebration.

Business first. I had the absolute pleasure of visiting the Catherine Cook School.

I read Wink! to three different classes and they were all wonderful! What awesome kids! One of the highlights for me was after I had read the page when Wink gets in trouble for yelling "Yahoo!' "The loudest cricked is the first to be caught," Master Zutsu says. Then I read that Wink was sent home. A sweet little boy in the front said, "Wink was the first to get caught."

This is pre-school! I don't really expect the little ones to follow Master Zutsu's sayings, but this kid was on it. I gave him a high five.

Here I am reading about stealth, "Silent to the ear, invisible to the eye - that is the art of stealth."

After I read, I do a little presentation about how I got the idea for the book and an overview of the writing and illustrating process. I tried something new this time around. To show the kids how I make the collage illustrations, I had a bunch of paper pieces laminated and I had the students help me put a scene together.

It gives the kids a chance to get up and do something and I think it really helps them see how the illustrations come together.

School visits can be difficult at times, but most of the time they are fantastic and I love doing them. The kids at the Catherine Cook School were attentive, polite, and so much fun to be around. Thanks a bunch!

Tomorrow I'll blog about the pleasure part of the trip.

ADDED NOTE: I just got a lovely message forwarded to me from a mother who's son was at this reading. You see, my very generous friend Staci and her husband, who brought me to the school, bought every child in two classrooms my book - so I signed them all. Normally I write a note off to the side, but this time - because there were so many books to sign - I had Wink (on the title page) shout out their names, like, "Becky is great!" or "Tyler rocks!" This little boy went home and told his mother all about me coming in. Then they read the book and the boy said, "Wink knows me." I think that is so cool I wanna burst!

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