While I’ll be talking about being a children’s writer, I’ll also be encouraging students to think about the various tasks that go into making a nonfiction book, including illustration and design. I’ll take them on a photo tour of a real publishing house. Then, using a magnetic board and various text and photos, I’m hoping for some student volunteers to design mock pages for my upcoming book, Fun Food Jokes. This will be the first time I’m using this exercise during a school visit and I can’t wait to see what designs the kids come up with.
I’ll also be stressing the importance of nonfiction writing and its need to be accurate. With all of the information on the Internet, I think students need to understand more than ever before, what reliable sources are and where to find them. I’ll share with students what nonfiction writers do besides write. I’m not talking about going to the movies or eating chocolate. I’m talking about research. Most students are surprised when I tell them I hiked in the woods with a search and rescue dog and I visited an assisted living center with a therapy dog for my upcoming series, Amazing Working Dogs. I want them to know that while research is important and it can also be fun and inspiring.
I always look forward to presenting nonfiction in an entertaining way and I think school visits are a great opportunity to do just that. I hope to inspire the students at East Amwell School to be avid readers and writers and give them a brief look into my world as a nonfiction author. Then I’m going to watch a movie and eat some chocolate.