Like many authors, I find that school and library visits are one of the best ways to promote my books. They also put me in touch with my audience and give me a chance to talk with teachers and librarians to find out how my books are being used in the classroom. The most successful visits are those where the children are familiar with my books before I come. Recently, I visited a school where the librarian had devised a clever project to encourage the children to read my books. It was a Book Fact Scavenger Hunt, created by one classroom and then played by another. To make the "clues" each child chose a book, found a fact and turned it into a question. Here are some samples:
In the book A Panda's World, how many countries outside of China have pandas in zoos?
In the book Ostriches and Other Flightless Birds, why do ostriches eat small pebbles?
In the book A Killer Whale's World, who is the leader of the pod?
In the book House Sparrows Everywhere, what do restaurants put on their roofs to discourage sparrows from roosting?
In the book Giraffe, how much does the giraffe's heart weigh?
The librarian then typed a list of all the questions, made several copies of the list in a copy machine, and cut the paper so each question was a separate slip of paper. All the questions were put into a paper bag. Children picked out one question at a time and competed to see who could answer the most questions during the library period. By the day of my author visit, the children at the school were experts in books by Caroline Arnold!