Yesterday one of my schools hosted kidlit author Lynn Plourde. If you don’t know Lynn and her books, you really should. A former speech therapist and educator, Lynn’s books are full of whimsical word play and rich characters, and her presentation to students is spot on. She’s got the teachers’ touch, for sure.
I first met Lynn when my daughter was starting kindergarten. She came to share her debut picture book Pigs in the Mud at my daughter’s school. Now Lynn doesn’t just read her book, she gets the kids to LIVE it. With simple props and lots of enthusiasm everyone tells the story of a muddy road full of animals in rural Maine. My kids were enthralled and I’ve been a fan of her work ever since.
This year, Lynn published her first middle grade novel, Maxie’s Secrets: Or What You Can Learn From A Dog . I think this will introduce a whole new audience of readers to her talent and showcases her range that also includes nonfiction, graphic novels, and a ‘love letter to the state of Maine‘!
When I wrote my own book (Close Writing) Lynn was one of the authors gracious enough to talk with me about her process and let me share some of her ideas and thoughts about writing. She has attended nErDcamps to share ideas with teachers as well.
Lynn has a blog Make Writing Visible where she shares some techniques teachers can use with their students-a virtual author’s visit! She is a true writing mentor!
I know KidLit authors are rock stars to me. I learn so much from them as an adult, I can only imagine what it would have been like for me as a child to meet a real life author. I desperately wanted to write to Astrid Lindgren (author of the Pippi Longstocking books) but at the time, that wasn’t anything my teachers could help me with. Authors today have never been more accessible. Teachers can help connect kids and authors via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Email, or even Skype visits. (And there’s always good old snail mail).
Students left the library at our school today not only inspired, but eager to write. It’s my wish that every child gets opportunities to connect with the authors who fill their libraries and open their hearts and minds. I want them to get insights into the process and ask questions that will lift their thinking and elevate their writing.
Let’s look for opportunities to make writing as visible for our students as possible. Let’s give them this slice of a literacy life.