I spent a wonderful day with the readers of Winchester Thurston School in Pittsburgh this week. It’s always fun to visit readers where they learn, but it’s extra special when you walk into the building and see that the bookish excitement has been building for weeks.The Winchester Thurston community sure knows how to make an author feel welcome!
Here are my terrific hostesses, librarians extraordinaire Kate Weber and Jennifer Kraar. They’d been reading with their students for moths to prepare for the visit, and the art in the hallways reflected that. It was so much fun to see the kids’ interpretations of my books and characters!
There was even a Sea Monster cake at lunch time!
This school community really seemed to love SEA MONSTER’S FIRST DAY and SEA MONSTER AND THE BOSSY FISH. Jennifer told me that’s because they all felt like Ernest the Sea Monster shared the values of their school motto: “Think also of the comfort and rights of others.” The Pre-K and Kindergarten students were especially big Ernest fans. These kids know what it means to be a “Friend Fish.”
In addition to the large group assemblies, I had the chance to spend a little more time with the fifth graders, who are talented authors in their own right. We did a mystery writing workshop that I promised I’d share online in case anyone wanted to look back at the ideas to do more brainstorming.
After the writing workshop, a group of students presented me with letters and a wonderfully bright, bouncy bouquet of paper flowers they’d made. I carried it all through the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia Airports and got lots of smiles from fellow travelers. I think the bouquet was a bright spot in their day, too. (A few people even asked me if I’d just gotten married!)
Thank you, Jennifer and Kate, and all of the wonderful, enthusiastic teachers and students of Winchester Thurston School. I absolutely loved my day reading, writing, and talking books with your school community!