Best Day Ever: Every Author Visit Day!
Recently, I visited St. Croix Falls Elementary School in Wisconsin. I love this school! The energy of the students and teachers hums through the hallways like a happy tune. They’re readers. They’re inquirers (oh! the questions they ask!). They’re listeners. One of the girls there wore a pink shirt that said, “Best Day Ever,” and I couldn’t agree more! Author Visit Day is the BEST, especially when the school or library prepares and promotes it.
Rita Platt, one of the most amazing teacher and media specialists ever, generates excitement among the students and staff prior to the visit. She reads books to the students written by the author and showcases the titles in the library. During the visit, Rita encourages her readers to ask questions, hard questions. My favorite: How do you get the little gold stickers on your books? (Answer: A lot of hard work and even more luck!)
My sessions always have interactive components. I ask the students what they think. For example, I asked how long they thought it takes to write a book. Favorite answer: three minutes. (!!) Sometimes the students participate with certain actions as I read, sing songs with me, or perhaps help me cut words out of a passive sentence. It depends on the audience. Always, though, I want to engage them with the story and the storytelling.
Julie Jackson, another fabulous teacher, has arranged several visits for me at Sunrise Elementary School in North Branch, Minnesota. She too makes sure everything is ready on Author Visit Day. Someone will greet me at the office and show me our meeting space. I can think of many, many more teachers and librarians who also work hard to create these extra-special learning experiences for their students—I can’t even begin to name them all (you know who you are; thank you…your students thank you, too!).
It’s always a joy to share my books with young readers eager to hear a story and talk about writing. Yep, that’s the Best Day Ever, every time.