Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Full Heart

As an unpublished picture book author, I am blessed to have a job that allows me to go into classrooms and read to children.  And so, in the spirit of “Read Across California” month, I stepped into two classrooms to share my love of reading.  I read “Miss Brooks Loves Books (and I don’t)” by Barbara Bottner, illustrated by Michael Emberley, and of course one of my all time favorites, “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs” by Lane Smith and Jon Scieszka.  The children enjoyed it!

Oh, did I mention I read two of my own manuscript too?

Yes!  I read some of my own work as well.  And students made comments like “I really liked that!” and “I hope you get published”, not to mention “You’re gonna be famous!” 

My heart is full.

I finally stepped out of my comfort zone.  I guess I was a little intimidated by the idea of sharing my work with children, before it was published, because it kind of felt like sharing an unfinished project.  But instead of thinking of it that way, I have decided to use it as a learning experience for myself and the children I read to.  
I started off by asking the students if they liked writing.  Many of them would raise their hands and say that they did.  I told them that I did too when I was their age, and now that I am older, I still do—so much so that I want to write children’s books, and am in the process of doing so.  Then, I told them that it’s important to listen to their teachers when it comes to editing papers, because that’s a skill they will use their whole lives, especially if they want to write books one day.  Next, I showed them what a manuscript looks like, and I held it up next to a published book and ask them to compare (what is different between a manuscript and a published book, besides the obvious that one is published and one isn’t).  After that, I told them that since my manuscript didn’t have any pictures yet, that they get to close their eyes and make their own pictures in their minds. 

And guess what...they sat and listened contently to the whole story—and really seemed to enjoy it!  Man did that feel like a success!

I also told them that as long as they work hard on their education, they could be anything they want to be, even an author!  Last, I showed them a Highlights for Kids Magazine and told them how one day my poems would be in the magazine since I had sold two poems to Highlights.

One of the teachers said he really enjoyed my talk, and that it’s great for students to hear my message.  So, I now plan to use opportunities to read to children as a way to share my love for reading, to teach, and to confirm that they really can do anything they want to do! 

Nothing like kids to perk up your spirits and reaffirm why you do what you do!  I can’t wait to share this message in the future while holding one of my own published picture books!

So, if rejections are like 's on my path to publishing...


reading to kids would be like finding areminding me of my destination.

On I go!  Forward!  Forward!

1 comment:

  1. What a great opportunity to read your work to kids. I think it's important to have kids as beta readers, although I think I'm in the minority there. I've done some reading in my granddaughter's classroom and love doing it. The kids do love to hear stories. When I taught high school, I often read to my students. Kids of all ages love to be read to. But I think as writers we can learn much from the children.