Wednesday, June 20, 2018

READING TAKES YOU EVERYWHERE: Author Visit at Encino/Tarzana Library for Summer Reading Program

Encino/Tarzana Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library
Yesterday afternoon I spent a wonderful hour with kids and their parents at the Encino/Tarzana Public Library in Los Angeles giving a presentation as part of the LAPL summer reading program for kids. The theme this year is “Reading Takes You Everywhere” and my books are a perfect example of all the different places you can go when you read about animals. We started with a virtual trip to Africa as I read A Zebra’s World and we all did a Lion Hunt together. We then talked about birds and I measured the kids wingspans. The kids also helped me sing the Wiggle and Waggle song, along with my Wiggle and Waggle sock puppets.
With Star Volunteer, Masha. A STAR Volunteer Reader is a volunteer who reads books and tells stories with children at their local library. They serve as positive role models for children. They commit 2 hours per week for at least 6 months.
During my visit I enjoyed meeting Jennifer, the new head librarian, as well as one of the teen volunteers who helped with my program, and a devoted Star reading volunteer who works with kids at the library every week. I thank Shokoufeh Moghta, the children’s librarian, for inviting me to the library and organizing the event. From the enthusiastic participation of the kids and good questions at the end, I know the afternoon was enjoyed by all!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

OBSERVING OUR OWN NATURAL HISTORY at Esperanza Elementary School, Los Angeles, CA

The natural habitat garden at Esperanza Elementary School, Los Angeles, CA
On May 30, 12:55 pm three white-tailed swifts were soaring above the palo verde trees. They look like flying cigars with wings.
This careful description was posted by a student at Esperanza Elementary School in Los Angeles on the school bulletin board “Observing Our Own Natural History” after discovering the birds near the school. Every day, as the students spend time in the school's native plant garden, they are learning to be young scientists and how to look at things closely and observe pertinent details.
Students share information and observations on a bulletin board in the school hallway
A corner of the playground where a building once stood has been turned into a natural habitat–a garden filled with California native plants such as poppies, wild grasses, lupins, sage and more. It is home to birds, butterflies, spiders and a wide variety of insects. The school is in a neighborhood located very close to downtown Los Angeles. The garden provides a refreshing oasis in an otherwise totally urban environment.
A wild grape vine climbs over the garden fence. Skyscrapers loom in the background not far from the school.
When I visited Esperanza last week, a group of third graders working with teacher Elizabeth Williams gave me a tour of the garden. They excitedly pointed out the frothy spittlebug deposits on some of the plants, several spiders, lupins both in bloom and developing seed pods, and a pair of sparrows foraging for seeds–the male with his handsome black markings and the female a duller brown. Then they discovered a pair of house finches carrying nesting material to a nest site. Principal Brad Rumble, who has spearheaded the garden project, met us in the garden. He is an avid birdwatcher and his enthusiasm is contagious. He introduced me to a girl who had observed and identified a white-throated swift and then was excited to find it again in exhibits at the Natural History Museum when the class went on a field trip.
Teacher Elizabeth Williams and Principal Brad Rumble with students
Before we visited the garden, I talked with a group of third grade students in the library and shared the books in my Caroline Arnold’s Habitats series. They had great comments and questions! I plan to go back in the fall when school starts again to do an author visit with more of the students. I love it when kids get excited about the animals that I write about in my books, but I find it even more exciting to see kids learning about nature hands-on--by observing it themselves. The natural habitat garden at Esperanza is a great resource and a wonderful stimulus for learning.
For an excellent video about the Esperanza school garden produced by television station KCET for their Earth Focus series, click on this link: https://www.kcet.org/shows/earth-focus/urban-habitat-esperanza-elementary-school 

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

NEW CHICKS: Author Visit with Campbell Hall Kindergarten Students, Los Angeles, CA

Day-old chicks in the Kindergarten classroom at Campbell Hall
When I first met librarian Linda Pechin at the CLCSC workshop two weeks ago and she told me that the kindergarten students at her school, Campbell Hall, were hatching chicks in their classrooms, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for an author visit. So Linda arranged it, and on Thursday last week I went to the school and had a wonderful time.
Caroline with Linda Pechin, Librarian at Campbell Hall
Both classrooms had incubated eggs so there were two sets of day old chicks peeping in their cages. The children had read my book HATCHING CHICKS IN ROOM 6 and we talked about how their process was similar to that described in the book. We also talked about how they know that chickens are birds–they have feathers and they lay eggs–and then I showed them my feather collection and measured their wingspans. I also shared my ostrich egg. Everyone was impressed that it takes 42 days for an ostrich egg to hatch–twice as long as a chicken egg. The visit ended with a story from my WIGGLE AND WAGGLE book and singing the gardening song. I then went to the library to autograph books.
I thank Linda Pechin and the kindergarten teachers and their students for a very enjoyable visit at Campbell Hall.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Project Book Bag: Building Personal Libraries at Kipp Raices Academy in CA

Book Bags Ready to be Distributed to Students
Every year just before summer break, Project Book Bag gives young students at Kipp Raices Academy, an elementary school in East Los Angeles, a bag full of grade appropriate books to bring home and call their own. Yesterday, I spent the morning helping volunteers distribute the bags of books to the children in their classrooms.
The children were SO excited to receive the books, finding many of their favorite series as well as new titles, both fiction and nonfiction. Seeing the smiles on their faces as they pulled the books out of the bags was a joy to watch.
This was the seventh year of this program. In past years I have donated books–both my own and from my collection–but this was the first time I had been there in person. A devoted group of volunteers collects the books (both used and new), cleans them if necessary, and sorts them by appropriate age levels. This year, a group of Boy Scouts helped as a service project. Henry, who is earning his Eagle Scout badge, was there to meet the students help deliver the books.
Thanking Henry for his service
The mission of Project Book Bag, a nonprofit, “is to make sure that all kids have books at home to keep them reading and help them find their interests. Research shows that children who do not have access to reading material over the summer experience "learning loss," causing them to fall behind their peers. The kids in the KIPP school(s) are already performing better than many other kids in their area and we want to insure that they keep their skills sharp when school is not in session.”
Some of the Project Book Bag volunteers
You can learn more about Project Book Bag at their Facebook Page.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Sharing Hard Truths in Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults: CLCSC Spring Workshop

Last Saturday I attended an inspiring and informative workshop sponsored by the California Literature Council of Southern California called “Sharing Hard Truths in Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults.” We met at the Glendale Library. The workshop began with a warm welcome by Jennifer Driscoll, CLCSC President and introduction by Laurie Reese, CLCSC Spring Workshop Co-Chair followed by an excellent talk by nonfiction writer Ann Bausum, author of books such as March Against Fear, Freedom Riders, With Courage and Cloth, and many more. I loved hearing about her writing process and how she keeps the mountains of information she collects for each book organized. (Notecards!) It was a pleasure to meet Ann in person. Ann lives in Wisconsin. We had previously met via phone and email when we served on a committee together, but never in person. After Ann’s talk participants broke into “deep dive” discussion groups led by Michelle Markel, “At the Writer’s Desk”, Annette Goldsmith, “In the Library,” Ethan Bradbury, “In the Classroom,” and Madeline Bryant, “Between the Covers: The Look and Content of Contemporary Nonfiction.”
Most of the members of CLCSC are librarians. I enjoyed hearing their point of view about how to use books that face hard truths about topics such as race, human rights, and slavery with children in schools and libraries. These are topics that are often not covered adequately or at all in textbooks. It was a morning of good discussion, a delicious breakfast/brunch food from Porto's Restaurant to keep us fortified, and opportunities to see friends and share news.
Thanks to the CLCSC committee for organizing an excellent spring workshop!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Art Donation to the 2018 ABC/CBC Silent Art Auction at BookExpo

I have donated a giclee print of an illustration from my book A Wombat’s World to the 2018 ABC/CBC Silent Art Auction to Benefit ABFE and Every Child a Reader. The auction will be held May 30th in New York at the Javits South Concourse in conjunction with BookExpo. I am pleased to be able to contribute to this worthy cause.

ABC Children's Group (ABC), a program of the American Booksellers Association (ABA), is dedicated to growing and expanding the reach of children's books. ABC serves independent bookstores, authors, publishers, and illustrators, and develops unique education, events, and communications to further that purpose. ABA is a not-for-profit trade association devoted to meeting the needs of its core members-independently owned bookstores with storefront locations. It exists to protect and promote the interests of independent retail book businesses, as well as - through American Booksellers for Free Expression (ABFE) - to protect the First Amendment rights of every American.

Every Child a Reader is a 501(c)(3) literacy charity dedicated to inspiring a lifelong love of reading in children and teens across America. Every Child a Reader's three major national programs are: Children's Book Week, celebrating 99 years this April 30-May 6, 2018; the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards; and the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature program, in partnership with the Library of Congress. The 2018-2019 National Ambassador is Jacqueline Woodson.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

NEW CHICKS IN ROOM 6: A Classroom Visit

Four day old chicks. The thermometer monitors the temperature in the cage.
The children in Mrs. Best’s kindergarten class in Room 6 at Haynes School in Los Angeles have just hatched eggs, and now have five fluffy chicks cheeping in a cage in their classroom. Four of the chicks have brown markings. One is black. As the children waited for the eggs to hatch, they learned about chickens and eggs in my book Hatching Chicks in Room 6. That book follows a previous class as they went through the egg hatching process. This is a project that Mrs. Best does every year with her students.
Art projects done by the children. Some of the eggs they incubated had brown shells. Others were green.
Last week I went to visit the chicks and spend time with the children. I read some of my books and we talked about birds and eggs. I brought my ostrich egg to compare with the chicken eggs they had just hatched. The ostrich lays the largest egg of any bird. It is equivalent to two dozen chicken eggs and weighs three to five pounds! (My egg, which I bought a long time ago, has a hole in the end of the shell where the contents were taken out so it does not weigh so much.)
I learned about ostriches when I wrote about them in this book.
The incubation period for an ostrich egg is 42 days, twice a long as it takes a chicken egg to hatch.
Ostrich egg. It is the largest of all bird eggs.
The children and I also talked about birds that don’t fly, such as ostriches and penguins. Chickens can easily fly from the ground to their roosts. So, even though a lot of people think that chickens don’t fly, they do.
The chicks are already starting to grow wing feathers.
The chicks are growing fast. By the time school is out for the summer in a few weeks, the chicks will be ready to go to the henhouse, where they will finish growing up.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

SOUTH AMERICAN ANIMALS, Now Available as a Kindle Book

My book, SOUTH AMERICAN ANIMALS is now available as an e-book on Amazon Kindle. It was originally published by Morrow Junior Books in 1999 and is out of print. The cover has been redesigned but the text and full color photos inside are the same as in the original book. SOUTH AMERICAN ANIMALS is illustrated with pictures that I obtained through photo research from a variety of sources including my own collection. Many came from my trip to South America with my family, which included a visit to Patagonia where we saw penguins, guanacos, condors and all sorts of other wild animals. I am happy to have SOUTH AMERICAN ANIMALS now available to new readers as an e-book. You can read it with a Kindle app on various devices (I use my iPad) or on your computer.

"When a jaguar walks the forest floor, other animals get out of the way. This meat eater is the largest predator in South America. It can grow up to eight feet long. Jaguars hunt at night and can see well in the dark. They feed on alligators, tapirs, and other large forest animals."
Jaguars, monkeys, snakes, birds and many more species make their homes in the vast tropical forests of South America. Other animals, such as guanacos and bears, inhabit its craggy mountain peaks, while penguins and sea turtles migrate annually to is windswept coasts. Still other animals, including several varieties of deer and foxes, roam its open grasslands. This book, filled with twenty-five breathtaking photographs, highlights many of the most fascinating animals of South America.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

STORIES IN STONE: Rock Art Pictures by Early Americans is Now Available as an E-Book

My book, STORIES IN STONE: Rock Art Pictures by Early Americans is now available as an e-book on Amazon Kindle. It was originally published by Clarion Books in 1996 and is out of print. The cover has been redesigned but the text and full color photos inside are the same as in the original book. STORIES IN STONE: Rock Art Pictures by Early Americans is illustrated with beautiful color photographs by Richard Hewett.  I am happy to have STORIES IN STONE: Rock Art Pictures by Early Americans now available to new readers as an e-book. You can read it with a Kindle app on various devices (I use my iPad) or on your computer.

This visit to the canyons of the Coso Range in the California desert reveals thousands of ancient stone engravings of people, animals, and abstract symbols -- evidence of some of the earliest human life in North America. Rock art is one of the oldest known forms of human expression. The rock walls of the Coso Range contain the richest concentration of ancient rock in the Western Hemisphere. Native Americans used this site continuously for thousands of years and created a multitude of designs ranging from tiny figures to life-size human forms and from abstract patterns to clearly recognizable pictures of people and animals. This book provides an exploration into who made this beautiful and mysterious art and why, along with a glimpse of what life may have been like for some of the first people who lived in the high-desert mountains and valleys of western North America.
Human figures are the second most commonly drawn design in the Cosos

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Author Visit to the WPC Preschool, Los Angeles, CA

Last week I made my annual visit to the WPC Preschool in West Los Angeles, California. I first visited the group of three-year-olds where I read Noisytime for Zoo Animals (they helped me make the animal sounds), Who Has More? Who Has Fewer? (we counted the number of eggs backwards and foreward) and Wiggle and Waggle (they helped me sing the Wiggle and Waggle song.) In the four-year-old room we talked about birds and feathers and I measured their wingspans. Most of the children were as big as Cooper's hawks and it took four to be as big as a California condor! I then read Hatching Chicks and Room 6 and the first two stories of Wiggle and Waggle. I always enjoy my visits to the school and am impressed with the enthusiasm of the children, teachers and parents. Thanks to Director Sophie Robertson for a great day!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Visit to the Kona Library in Hawaii

Last week, when I was on the Big Island of Hawaii, I stopped in at the Kona Public Library to visit my friend Denise Stromberg. We met twelve years ago on my first visit to Kona. (I visit Kona every three years when my husband Art attends a conference there.) At that time she was the children’s librarian. Now she is the branch manager. We had a nice chat, caught up on news and then visited the children’s room and met Jen, the new children’s librarian. I saw that she has updated the children’s room with a reading nook with a comfy sofa for snuggling up with a book. When I left a boy was happily stretched out on the sofa and absorbed in a book.
I was also happy to discover that the Hawaii State Public Library system has 113 of my books in their libraries. Jen told me that the Kona library will soon be getting Hatching Chicks in Room 6. Hurray!
The bulletin board in the children's room featured poems in celebration of Poetry Month.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Author Visit and Book Signing at Overland School, Los Angeles, CA

With bags of signed books at Children's Book World ready to go to students at Overland School
Last week I did two presentations in the auditorium of Overland Avenue School for Advanced Studies in Los Angeles, California--one to the kindergarten students and one to the first and second graders. Both groups were enthusiastic audiences and had good comments and questions. Many of the children had purchased books to be autographed which I did afterward at Children’s Book World, a local bookstore. The books I signed were Hatching Chicks in Room 6, Wiggle and Waggle, and Living Fossils.
Overland Avenue Elementary School, Los Angeles, CA
My visit to Overland brought back many memories. My own children attended Overland forty years ago and I remember going to many events in the school auditorium–which has not changed in all these years. The library, on the other hand, has changed a lot, doubling in size and now with Mary Mittelbach, the librarian, running a wonderful library program. (In my day, the library was only open if a parent could be recruited to sit behind the desk and check out books. I was one of those parents. There was no school librarian.) I thank Mary for organizing my visit and doing such a great job promoting my books to the students. I had an impressive pile to sign when I went to Children’s Book World. Students received their books the following day. And I thank Sharon Hearn and her staff at Children’s Book World for ordering the books and helping to make the signing go quickly and smoothly.
Entrance to Children's Book World, Los Angeles, CA

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Author Visit with Kindergarteners at Westwood Charter School in Los Angeles

Westwood Charter School, Los Angeles, CA
Yesterday I had a fun visit with the kindergarten students at Westwood Charter School in Los Angeles, California, and shared my book Hatching Chicks in Room 6. It was an appropriate choice because they are also hatching eggs–except that they have duck eggs in their incubator. Several of the eggs already had pips so it won’t be long before the ducklings hatch. (Duck eggs take 28 days to hatch whereas chicken eggs hatch in 21 days.) I had a lively discussion about birds with the students, showed them my feather collection, and measured their wingspans. I found out that they will be celebrating Audubon’s birthday later this month. At the end of my visit I read the first two stories of Wiggle and Waggle and the children helped me sing the song.
Thanks to kindergarten teacher Sherry Kaufman for inviting me to her classroom. I enjoyed my visit.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Further Reading about Chicks and Chickens

When you finish reading a book, are you curious to find out more?  At the back of many books these days you will find a list of further reading. In my book, Hatching Chicks in Room 6, I list four books:

Chicks and Chickens by Gail Gibbons (Holiday House, 2004)
All about the behavior and development of chicks and chickens.

From Egg to Chicken by Anita Ganeri (Heinemann, 2006)
Life cycle of the chicken, illustrated with photographs.

Tillie Lays an Egg by Terry Golson, photographs by Ben Fink (Scholastic, 2009)
Fictional story about a chicken who lays her eggs everywhere but in the nest box.

Who You Callin’ Chicken? by Thea Feldman, photographs by Stephen Green-Armytage (Abrams, 2003)
Photographs of the amazing variety of chicken breeds.

Here are four more:

A Chicken Followed Me Home! Questions and Answers about a Familiar Fowl by Robin Page (Beach Lane Books, 2015

Egg: Nature’s Perfect Package by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page (HoughtonMifflinHarcourt, 2015) 


Chicks! (Step into Reading) by Sandra Horning (Random House)

Busy Chickens by John Schindel (Knopf Books for Young Readers)

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Caroline Arnold interview with Cybils:



After my book Hatching Chicks in Room 6 won the Cybils Award for Elementary Non-fiction, I did an interview with Cybils blog editor Melissa Fox. It was published on the Cybils blog on March 27, 2018. Caroline Arnold interview with Cybils:

Do you have plans to keep chickens after learning about their care along with Room 6?

A number of years ago, before I moved to Los Angeles, I lived in the country with my family and we kept a flock of chickens. Watching the children in Room 6 care for their chickens reminded me of this experience. Now that I live in the city, it is not practical to keep chickens, so the answer is no, I do not have plans to keep chickens.

What do you think is the most valuable thing students learn from studying chickens in the classroom?

Among the many valuable lessons learned from hatching chicks in the classroom is being able to witness the life cycle process–from incubating the eggs, to seeing the shells break open, to watching the chicks grow from fluffy balls to fully feathered chickens. It is one thing to be told that chicks grow in eggs, but another to actually see an egg hatch with your own eyes.

How do you keep your research organized?

I have a box system to keep my research organized. Each book I write has its own box, which is where I put my notes, letters, brochures, print-outs from my computer, and anything else pertinent to the book. My digital photos are kept in folders in my computer.

What challenges did you face working with photos instead of your usual collage illustrations?

Every photographer will tell you that the two most difficult subjects are children and animals-- because they don’t stay still and they don’t take direction! My secret was to take LOTS of pictures. The challenge of a book like this is that the story takes place in real time so I had to get the photos I needed as they happened. There was no going backwards. Photographs give an immediacy to the story and help make the reader feel part of the action.

If you don’t mind telling us, what’s next for you?

When I was in Mrs. Best’s classroom working on Hatching Chicks in Room 6, I noticed that the children were also learning about insects and the process of metamorphosis. It occurred to me that this could be the topic of another book. So the following year I was back in Room 6 learning about painted lady butterflies and how they grow from tiny eggs to beautiful adult butterflies. That book, Butterflies in Room 6, will be published in January 2019.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

AUTHOR TALK at the PLATT LIBRARY, West Hills, CA

With Jennifer Best, Teacher (left) and Susan Bougetz, Librarian (right)
A week ago I had a very enjoyable author visit at the Platt Library in West Hills, California. My visit was organized by children’s librarian Susan Bougetz who promoted the event to all the local elementary schools and collected a huge pile of my books available in the library for check-out.
Some of my books from the Platt Library shelves


We met in the community room where I had a nice audience of parents and children who all enthusiastically participated in singing the Wiggle and Waggle song and having their wingspans measured. I ended by telling the story of how Hatching Chicks in Room 6 had been inspired by my visit to Haynes School, which is not very far from the library. Earlier in the afternoon I stopped by Haynes to visit Mrs. Best and this year’s students in Room 6. Outside the classroom I saw the pen where the chickens (who once had been chicks) have now grown up and are laying eggs.



Platt Library



I thank Susan Bougetz for inviting me to the Platt Library and doing such a good job of organizing my visit.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

SCIENCE PROJECT LAYER CAKE--History of the Earth

My grandson Lucas made an amazing edible work of art for his 8th grade science project - check out the orange skittles fossils, different sedimentary layers, and the volcano with chocolate lava! Also impressive are the informative labels. Thanks, Lucas, for allowing me to share it!
 It turns out you can buy sugar paper and sugar pens! Very handy when your cake requires informative labels.
 Lucas' cake is a definite step up from one of my favorite classroom projects--peanut butter and jelly geology done some years ago at a school I visited. The jelly are the tar pits and pretzels are the fossil bones.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Author Visit at Porter Ranch Community School, Porter Ranch, CA

Last week I had an enjoyable visit to Porter Ranch Community School in Porter Ranch, California, where I did three presentations--to third, fourth, and fifth grade students. The audiences were enthusiastic and the students had good questions. The event was scheduled in conjunction with the school book fair being held in the library. The auditorium was decorated with large posters of puppies and kittens to go with the the book fair theme: "It's READING Cats and Dogs!"
I thank book fair chair, parent Jill Kipnis, for inviting me and coordinating my visit.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

School Visits in Winston-Salem, NC

Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC
Last Wednesday I had two very successful school visits in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, sponsored by Bookmarks, a local nonprofit literary organization.
With library Alexandra Randall at St. Leo's
The first visit was at St. Leo’s Catholic School where I spoke to first, second and third graders in the school library. Librarian Alexandra Randall did a great job getting everything ready, setting up the SmartBoard for my powerpoint slides and finding two of my older books in the library collection. I was pleased with the enthusiasm of the students and the good questions at the end. My favorite question was: What kind of bird are you? This is was after I had talked about birds and  measured the students’ wingspans. Most of them were red-tailed hawks. I have the wingspan of an osprey.
With the upper school librarian and principal Andrew Lester-Niles at the Downtown School
The second visit was at the Downtown School, a magnet school in the heart of the downtown where I spoke to a very lively group of kindergarten and first graders. We went on a lion hunt, sang Wiggle and Waggle and did a number of other activities. I thank principal Andrew Lester-Niles for arranging the visit.
With Bookmarks volunteer Kathy Pounds
At both schools I was assisted by Bookmarks volunteer, Kathy Pounds, who brought copies of my books for signing and took photographs. At the end of my visit she took me to the Bookmarks store in its brand new location where I had the chance to meet other volunteers and learn more about the organization, which sponsors a variety of literary events in the community.

Friday, February 23, 2018

And the winner is.....HATCHING CHICKS IN ROOM 6, CYBILS Award for Elementary Non-Fiction

HURRAY! Hatching Chicks in Room 6 is the winner of the 2017 Cybils Award for Elementary Non-Fiction. I am delighted. Many thanks to all the judges!
The Cybils Awards aims to recognize the children’s and young adult authors and illustrators whose books combine the highest literary merit and popular appeal. If some la-di-dah awards can be compared to brussels sprouts, and other, more populist ones to gummy bears, we’re thinking more like organic chicken nuggets. We’re yummy and nutritious.

Here's the description of my book on the Cybils site: (Take a look at the site for winners in all the categories.)
Elementary Non-Fiction
Hatching Chicks in Room 6
by Caroline Arnold
Charlesbridge
Nominated by: Claire Annette Noland
Simple yet fascinating, this book takes the reader inside a diverse kindergarten classroom as they watch chicks hatch from eggs and learn about the life cycle of chickens. The simple text makes this title accessible to younger readers, yet there is enough information inserted into the story to make sure they, as well as older readers, learn new information. The once common experience of having animals in the classroom is much rarer these days, and this book captures the thrill of hatching and raising the chicks all the while introducing new vocabulary related to the endeavor. The photography captures both the delight of the students as well as funny expressions on the chickens themselves. The lively and informative text and intriguing photographs make this a perfect choice for younger elementary kids.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

AUTHOR VISIT at Circle View School, Author Festival, Huntington Beach, CA

Autographing books at the library at the Huntington Beach Author Festival
Tuesday January 30th was the annual Author Festival in Huntington Beach, California. I have been participating in the Huntington Beach Author Festival almost every year since it started in 1989, with a morning visit to an elementary school and an afternoon reception and book sale at the Huntington Beach Library.
Add caption
This year I was at Circle View School and spoke to three groups of enthusiastic students, kindergarten through third grade. I thank teachers Jo Marie Costello and Glenda Mooradian for coordinating my visit and Pam Justice in the library for setting up the room and equipment and for my snack "goody bag."
Thanks also to the PTA for a delicious lunch in the teacher’s lounge and for supporting a purchase of books for the library. I always enjoy the chance to chat with teachers and staff at lunch.
After lunch I joined authors who had been visiting other schools for a gala reception at the Huntington Beach library. Volunteers on the festival committee, dressed in red shirts, made sure everything ran smoothly. Students who had won prizes for their stories were honored in the auditorium, with their proud parents and teachers watching in the audience.
This event would not go on year after year except for the hard work and dedication of Gail Page who has led the festival for many years and her hardworking committee of volunteers. Thank you! I always enjoy the chance to share my books with new readers, to see old friends, and to make new ones.