I am writing as I return from giving a talk to kids at the Coquille, Oregon public library: about my life, my books, and the incredible world out there that I hope they will discover in the years to come. It was part of the library’s summer program. What fun!
The kids, from toddlers to fourth graders, were wonderfully attentive as I squawked (and got them to squawk) like a Galapagos frigate bird looking for a mate, with his basketball-sized red “balloon” under his beak. And they giggled when I talked about the dance of the blue-footed boobies.
When I read the book, Why Can’t I Fly?, they eagerly repeated the refrain, “I can fly, I can fly, I can flop,” with Minnie the monkey who is trying to fly by following the advice of a host of flying creatures: a bluebird, a canary, a ladybug, a duck, and a butterfly. Minnie tries all the advice (singing, spotting herself, gluing on feathers, making wings), but she keeps flopping…until all the animals come together and catch her in a sheet. I always say something about the importance of cooperation in making things happen.
I also talked about how books are made: first words, then illustrations (in my case, by a separate illustrator). And I finished up with a reading of More Spaghetti, I Say! and a rhyming game: Cats are silky; cows are____. Chefs are cook-y; librarians are ____. Brooms are brushy; toilets are____.
I leave them giggling about flushy toilets.
Whenever I give a paid speech to organizations or conferences, I like to talk to classes or groups of kids in the area. If you know any organizations who want to hire me (anywhere…I happily travel!), I would love to talk to local kids for free! Please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for speaking coordinations. Thanks.