The Magic of Books
My grown children are still trying to teach me, rather laughing at me, what the difference between a tweet, Instagram, or snapchat is! They still remind me that I do not need to sign my texts; Love, “Mom”! But when I saw Hometown Reads asking authors to write a “blog” I thought why not! As a new author we need all the publicity we can get, right?! “What should I write about?” The usual, “Why did you decide to write a children’s book?” That’s easy, I’ll touch on that, but I thought it would be fun to talk about getting out there and promoting the book.
I have always loved the “magic” of books. The stories that create whole new worlds, stories so descriptive whole scenes unfold before your eyes, if only in my mind. My love for children’s books never left me. My favorite books the ones with plenty of detail in the pictures. I fell in love with the thought of writing and illustrating my own book from a very young age. My dream was to see a book in the library, in the children’s section of course, with my name on the side, and a card in the back to check it out. I was probably one of the only kids who played “library” as a little girl instead of “house”! Weird? Maybe, fun, absolutely! Every book was written by me!
I have been traveling to schools, libraries and daycares to promote my book. Once I read it eighteen times in three days! I hand out bookmarks and have drawings for free books and e-books. One of my favorite things to observe as I read to the children is their faces. Some of the younger ones start out restless but quiet as church mice, (pun intended); by page two or three they start to watch intently, pointing out the hidden spider. When I reach the buildup in the story when Herman hears a loud “SNAP”…I see their mouths drop open wide and the worried look on their faces. Even the pointing out of the spider stops, waiting for the page to turn to see what Herman will do. The end is always met with cheers a round of applause and “will there be another story about Herman?” “Will you come read that one to us too?” Now if only I can get all those ideas and images down on paper as fast as they are swirling around in my head! Even a young pre-teen boy, who would obviously rather have been anywhere else but there at the library with his little brother to listen to a Children’s book, commented with surprise, “That was actually pretty good”, and “You’re a really good artist too!”
Elementary age students and teachers can use several teaching aspects in my book in their classrooms. As an art lesson they can draw a detailed picture of what they think a mouse house would look like. In English they can write their own story to speculate as to why they think Lloyd had only one ear. For Science they can draw up their own plans for getting the cheese out of the giant mouse trap. Several of Herman’s ideas look like a Roux Goldberg machine. Social Lesson learned are, not to judge someone by how they look, help can come from some of the most unlikely places or people, and most importantly anyone can be a friend.
After reading to an Elementary school the principal told me the next day a student brought in a book that she made out of construction paper, stapled together, a story she wrote and illustrated. She said she wanted to be an Author/Illustrator just like Tammy Brown when she grew up. Her whole class gave her undivided attention while she sat in front and read them her story. I can’t think of a better compliment than that.