I was thrilled to do a Skype author visit with 120 kindergartners! They were well prepared having read the story ahead of time. They also came up with questions that the Media Specialist had collected ahead of time.
For such a young group, the teachers asked for a 20 minutes visit. The kids were great and were able to sit still and stay focused. I loved meeting them!
My Skype author visit portion is about 10 minutes with time for Q and A. During this time, I talk about my author journey as Sumo Joe was the very first picture book manuscript that I have ever written.
This is what I cover:
- How I got my idea
- How took my idea from notes in my phone to a picture book manuscript (revise)
- How I took a picture book writing class (revise with input from classmates and my teacher)
- How I entered a picture book competition (and I did NOT win)
- How I worked with editors from the picture book writing competition to revise about 10 more times
- How the illustrator drew the pictures separately from me.
I like to make it interactive, so I have the kids raise their hands as I read the different iterations of the manuscript when they recognize words from the Sumo Joe story.
–> I read my first rhymes when I got my idea. They all notice how my words do not make a story.
–> I read the book dummy of the manuscript that I entered into the picture book competition. It’s a little different from the final story.
–> I show them the PDF of the manuscript with illustrator drawings in blue pencil.
–> I show them the F&G (Folded and Gathered) book which is almost the final book but not bound.
I can do cover all this in 10 minutes for a young crowd like preschool and kindergarten, and 15 minutes for kids who are slightly older and want more detail.
I would love to meet with your school! My Skype visits are free and I am sending stickers for every child plus Sumo Squish Balls for adults while supplies last.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to set something up!
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Japanese American Books for Kids
For your young ninja, books to learn about Japan.
It’s amazing how a single piece of art can have a ripple effect, inspiring others all around the world and for many generations.
WWII Internment seems to dominate Japanese American books for kids. I agree that it is an important lesson in history — my own mother was forced to relocate but I also hunger for books that explore other facets of being Japanese American.
Kite flying is an important ritual in Asia and I’ve rounded up every great kite flying book thanks to a little help from my friends and readers.
This was my response to a reader request.
I explore my own Japanese history in this post.
These older books explore the Japanese American internment experience during WWII, a shameful chapter in America’s history.
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.