The Miracle of a Skype Author Visit! My son’s third grade teachers requested a school author visit from Doug Cushman. They teach a mystery writing unit and they use Doug’s mystery picture books to start off the unit.
A picture book mystery is perfect for breaking down the elements of a good mystery story:
- leading and minor characters
- setting that changes in order to create action and adventure
- an intriguing plot with suspense and a clear beginning, middle and end
- a problem to solve
- a solution that is believeable
These were the three mystery picture books the third graders all read as a Read Aloud.
Mystery at the Club Sandwich by Doug Cushman
The Mystery of King Karfu by Doug Cushman
Because Doug Cushman lives in Paris, France, we decided to do it via Skype. This was Doug’s first Skype author school visit and his enthusiasm was infectious!
Doug Cushman’s First Skype Author Visit
We were all delighted about the miracle of Skype!
Unlike Jarrett Krosoczka’s Skype author visit, we only had one camera set up (attached to the laptop) so the kids came up one at a time to ask Doug questions. Like Jarrett’s Skype visit, the kids had read Doug Cushman’s books in advance of the visit AND written a question to ask him the night before as part of their homework.
Figuring out what questions to ask Doug was the talk of the kids that morning at their lockers and it helped to build excitement about meeting the author!
Doug Cushman Teaches 3rd Graders About Book Dummies and the Role of Editors
Doug shared his earliest books (from when he was about the same age as the third graders watching him) and how he got into writing and illustrating books. He also covered how creates his story including his inspiration.
Doug Cushman Draws Frankenswine from Pig Nightmares
No author/illustrator visit is complete without a drawing demonstration. A student asked Doug to draw for them and he happily complied. Here he reads a poem from Pigmares, draws the Frankenswine, and shows them the original drawing.
Pigmares byDoug Cushman
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.