Last Friday, I had a very exciting morning, one to remember for sure. 🦕 🦖
I visited Concord Elementary to share about Santiago’s Dinosaurios and its journey to publication. It was a very special moment for me because I’m a “Concord Mom”, and so the school has been part of our family’s life for the past 6 years. However, Concord is also the school where the events that inspired me to write Santiago’s story took place. You see, it was there where my son experienced his first day of school, in a new town, in a new country AND without understanding English…just like Santiago.
For this school visit I was invited by Mrs. Bardin, the school’s librarian, and she asked me to plan for two sessions. One at 8:30 am with 3rd, 4th and 5th graders and another one at 9:30 am with K, 1st and 2nd grade. Mr. Bruhjell, the school’s principal, welcomed me and introduced me to the children and teachers. It was very exciting!
For the first session, my presentation focused on my journey as a writer. I shared about how books are published, how it is to work with and editor and illustrator and I also got to tell them the story behind the story. There was also time to read the book aloud, to show them some pictures of previous events and by the end we had a session of Q&A with very interesting questions. The kids were very engaged with the presentation and I’m so thankful for that. I hope that they were inspired to write their own stories and who knows, maybe there are future writers or illustrators who were listening today.
For the second session, the presentation was a bit different because of the audience. It was shorter and we mainly focused on reading aloud the book, while I made comments, questions or drew their attention to certain details. I also shared the story behind the story and some tips about being better writers. I was happy to see that many children knew that all stories began with ideas, how you can get them and also the importance of revising. Their answers were perfect! 🤩
At the end of the presentation, Mr. Bruhjell told the students that he’d been inspired by the presentation so he’d be writing a story over the weekend. He said he’d share it with the students on Monday and invited them to write one too. He also mentioned he’d be asking for feedback and offered to be a “critique partner” for those students who would like to share their stories with him. He also encouraged the kids to find critique partners in their friends or teachers. I loved that idea!
Before leaving Concord, Mr. Bruhjell and Ms. McGregor (school’s reading coach) invited me to sign the “Writer’s Block”, which was an unexpected surprise and honor. I can’t believe my name will go on on Concord’s wall! I also got to write the phrase that I’ve been using in my book signing: May you always find your inner ROAR! 🦖 🦕 This was definitely a very special part of the author’s visit and it meant a lot to me.
I’m very grateful for having had this chance to experience such a fantastic and meaningful moment in this place that is very dear to our family. I never imagined author visits would be this fun and satisfying! I love sharing the book with children and listening to their questions.
I’m looking forward to getting to know more students and their teachers during this journey.
Thanks for reading and sharing this adventure with me!
PS. I want to thank my friend, photographer Jenny Pray, for taking some amazing pictures from the presentation, some which will be included in the yearbook. I’m also grateful for my husband who was able to attend to cheer me on, help me set up, and take pictures.
Cover photo by Cup of Couple.