I did my first school presentation! And I survived! While I spend a lot of my days writing, I'm also a pretty good talker. I can chit chat with the best of them and in my former life I was an Assistant District Attorney, spending my days arguing in very crowded courtrooms full of very angry people. But let me tell you, this classroom of kindergartners gave me a run for my money. There is nothing quite like the feeling of nineteen fidgety little people slowly encroaching on you. They start out all nice and quiet on the rug, but as the minutes pass by and they begin participating in the presentation, they slowly start to move closer and closer. It's intense and I think kindergarden teachers deserve so much respect. I'm pretty sure that I sweated my way through the entire presentation.
I started by showing this pint size crew my notebook where I scribble story ideas and do a fair amount of doodling. Then I passed around the word documents of my books so they could see what the text looks like before I add the illustrations (they were not impressed). Finally, I explained the illustration process and showed them all the sketches that Annie and I went through before we settled on the perfect Coco and Lucy. I got some very helpful suggestions for future books, like Star Sisters and the Giant Eye Ball, as well as many requests for a Star Sisters movie. I like the way these kids think!
If you live in the Boston area and are looking for a visiting author to visit your classroom, send me an email. I would love to do some more of these. And if you're a parent anywhere in the world and are facing the end of the school year with a small amount of fear, I have to tell you about this children's book series that my six-year old and I are loving. It's called The Doll People and it follows the adventures of a family of dolls who come to life when their human owners leave them. My daughter is captivated by the concept and the gorgeous illustrations and I'm captivated by the writing. It's beautifully descriptive with a great flow and I find myself studying the sentence structures as I read aloud. There are three books in the series so I'm hoping it will put a good dent in our summer reading.
Of course, the first thing I did after we finished reading for the night was google the authors, Ann Martin and Laura Goodwin. And all you ladies of a certain thirty-ish age will be thrilled to learn that Ann Martin is the author behind The Baby-sitters Club series. Be still my heart! I loved that series (as well as The Sweet Valley Twins) and remember devouring book after book after book. Look at these covers and tell me they don't bring back childhood memories! I'm signing off to write Ann Martin a long overdue fan letter.....