A couple weeks ago, I had the good fortune to spend a day with the terrific kids at Grand Isle School and their equally terrific librarian, Susanna Paterson, who is both a fellow teacher and a fellow writer.
Susanna was an amazing hostess who kept me right on schedule through three presentations and a lunchtime book signing, and her students were delightful, smart kids with fantastic questions.
Two of them made me smile within minutes of my arrival. The first one, a seventh grade boy who was helping Susanna get the library arranged for my presentation, stopped setting up chairs, walked right up to me and said, "Hi. I love your book!" I’m sure he didn’t realize at the time just how much that means to an author who’s just about to start a full day of presentations, full of too much coffee and nerves, but I hope he knows now that he absolutely made my day.
The other kid-who-made-my-day was a second grader who grabbed a front row seat for my presentation to the younger kids.
"’Are you Kate Messner?" He bounced up and down a few times.
"Yes, I am," I told him. "It’s nice to meet you!"
"We went to your website with our teacher!" More bouncing.
"Yes…" (pause) "You look older than I thought you would."
I laughed. "Well, that happens sometimes, huh?"
He nodded. "But don’t worry. Not much older. Just a little bit older."
He and his classmates proceeded to tell me all about some of the other things they learned at my website. You ate fried crickets once! You keep pet worms in your basement! We had a grand time talking about my upcoming picture book, OVER AND UNDER THE SNOW (Chronicle, 2010), animal tracks, and which critters might be hiding under Vermont’s winter snow pack.
They were a fabulous audience, just like the older students I saw later in the morning. Thanks, Susanna and all my other new friends, for a great day at Grand Isle School!