It's really cool to have children read my books and really exciting when they tell me that they like them! Children are very honest and very critical of the things they need read ... so getting a thumbs up from a child is always flattering. But ... when a bunch of fourth graders do a takeoff of one of your books it is MOST FLATTERING. That is exactly what children in Mrs. Whitstone's 4th grade class did at the Manara Academy. I was in their class one day back near the beginning of school. At morning meeting time I told them a little about myself and revealed that I was an author .... I showed them my books and it just so happened that they were learning about Author's Purpose in English/Writing so I talked to them about my purpose in writing my books. I asked them if they would like me to read one, they said YES and they then chose Went Out To Get a Donut - Came Home With a Muffin. I did "warn" them that this book was written for a younger crowd--but they wanted to hear it! At the time, they really seemed to enjoy it and did agree that littler kids would enjoy it -- but they said it was fun to just sit and hear a SILLY story! Later that week they were reading ... actually most were SINGING the book to their Kinder book buddies and I would often hear them singing the tune in the hallways! Mrs. Whitstone wanted the children to write and publish a book during the year and MANY of them took my book idea and put a twist on it! I got to talk to a few of the children about their books and the publishing process for their books .... here's what they had to say!
He said that after hearing me read the book I wrote, he was inspired to write a story. He never thought he could write a book -- but he wanted to give it a try.
Makador wrote -- Gael's Adventure (takeoff of Went Out To Get a Donut)
Makador used his reading Buddy Gael as the main character and like the Muffin book, he asked Gael what his favorite foods were and places he'd like to visit. So Gael went on an adventure where he ended up at the Statue of Liberty! Makador loved using the computer to create his story.
Denneel wrote -- Yummy Cookies (takeoff of Went Out To Get a Donut)Deneel also made his main character his reading Budding--Mikaeel (but he used his nickname-Mickey). Denneel also said that hearing me read my book was very inspirational--he loved the use of repetition so that Kindergarten students could pick up on the words and it would make them successful readers.
Another popular takeoff book was Brown Bear Brown Bear by Bill Martin Jr / Eric Carle
Saabiriin stated that this one was fun and easy to write. Her original reading Buddy left the school so she used many things her original reading Buddy liked and then added Amina (her new reading Buddy) into the story. She said it was fun to write and Amina likes the original story so she hopes she likes the one she wrote for her.
Ayah wrote--Pizza, Pizza-What Do You See?
She chose the Brown Bear book as a takeoff, because it was one of her favorites in Kindergarten. She said it was fun to use different foods through the book and at the end added in her reading Buddy, the teachers and the class!
Raima wrote -- Fruit Friends
Raima is a spectacular illustrator and wrote an original piece for her reading Buddy. She chose fruit for her story because her reading Buddy, Lyba loves eating fruit! She was inspired to write her own story-she said it was fun to do that.
Denneel talked to me about the whole process of publishing a book in 4th grade.
He could not believe how much work it was! He didn't realize that a children's book was hard work. Sometimes they would struggle to come up with words or to make rhymes and the editing process took FOREVER! They had many drafts and re-writes which were first done by hand. Once they felt really confident they had a good copy, they typed their work onto the computer. They then printed out the words. Worked on their Title Page and Dedication. Another tough thing to do was folding the paper correctly. They cut the printed words up and placed them on the pages to match their illustrations, which were drawn in pencil. The whole book was then photocopied and they then colored over the photocopied pictures ... this gave the book a really cool affect. They used crayons and colored pencils. Finally they laminated their book covers (they used file folders for the book covers) and stapled them all together. He said the process was rewarding and they are all excited to present the books to their reading Buddies before the end of school -- Mrs. Whitstone made a photocopy of their books for them to keep!
I'm very proud of all these budding AUTHORS and wish them much luck with their writing and illustrating careers ... and hope their reading Buddies enjoyed the books as much as I did!
One of our Budding Authors also had great news while I was visiting their class on Wednesday getting information and pictures for this post -- she found out she won FIRST PLACE in 4th grade for her Science Fair Project! Congrats Dorian!!! I'm very proud of you!!!!!!