Saturday, March 30, 2019

BOOK SIGNING of BUTTERFLIES IN ROOM 6 at Children’s Book World, Los Angeles, CA

This morning I had a fun book signing and storytime at Children’s Book World, a wonderful children’s bookstore in Los Angeles, California, not far from where I live. I had an enthusiastic crowd of children with their parents as well of some of my personal friends.
While we waited for the program to begin, children came up to the front to see the painted lady butterflies that I had grown from caterpillars and had brought in a netted enclosure. Most had come out of their chrysalises just a day or two ago. I had eleven butterflies flying around and feeding on orange slices. I explained to the children that the butterflies drink the orange juice through a long tube called a proboscis, which is something like having a built-in straw. In about a week I will let them go.
The program began at 10:30 with a reading of my new book BUTTERFLIES IN ROOM 6. Afterward Sharon passed out painted lady butterfly coloring sheets, drawing boards and crayons. Everyone was invited to take one of the butterfly cookies that I had brought. (Sugar cookies decorated with white and chocolate frosting and orange sprinkles.) While the children were coloring and eating cookies, I autographed books. It was a fun morning for all! Thank you Sharon and everyone at Children's Book World for helping me to promote my book and for making this a successful event!
And thanks also to my husband Art for taking the pictures!



Saturday, March 23, 2019

BUTTERFLIES IN ROOM 6: Where Do Ideas Come From?

Jennifer Best, Kindergarten teacher at Haynes School for Enriched Studies
Several years ago, when I was doing an author visit at a school in Los Angeles, I met Jennifer Best, a kindergarten teacher. Each spring, her students learn about life cycles. Two years ago I spent time in her classroom while they were hatching chicken eggs in an incubator. That resulted in my book Hatching Chicks in Room 6. At the same time, the class was also raising Painted Lady butterflies from caterpillars, watching the caterpillars grow in a jar, turn into chrysalises, and, after a week or so, emerge as beautiful butterflies. It seemed like the perfect sequel to Hatching Chicks in Room 6.
As with the book about chicks, I realized that the best way to tell this story was with photographs. I had taken photographs for some of my other books, so I decided to do it myself. I embedded myself in Jennifer Best’s classroom, which enabled me to follow the process and get the photos I needed. (A challenge in taking the photographs was that neither the children nor butterflies stayed still for long!) Spending so much time in the classroom also allowed me to interact with the kindergarten students, which helped me to target my text at the right level. The children’s enthusiasm was contagious as they learned about butterflies and had the thrill of releasing them outdoors and watch them fly into the neighborhood. I am extremely grateful to Jennifer Best for her cheerful cooperation in this project and for being my expert reader. I couldn’t have done this book without her.
Butterflies in Room 6 is a book for primary age children about raising butterflies in the classroom. This photo essay follows the process of metamorphosis from a tiny egg, to caterpillar, to chrysalis, and finally to the emergence of the adult butterfly. Children observe each stage up close as they learn firsthand about a butterfly’s life cycle. Then, when the butterflies are a few days old, the children release them in the school garden.
Raising butterflies from caterpillars is a popular project at home and in school, with supplies easily available on the internet or at many museums and nature centers. The book includes scientific information that is written at a level understandable to young children. It is ideal to use with STEM or STEAM curriculums.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

CELEBRATING BUTTERFLIES IN ROOM 6 with Mrs. Best, the Children and their Families

Kindergarten teacher Jennifer Best and Me in Room 6, Haynes Elementary, LAUSD
Last Wednesday afternoon, Mrs. Best, the children in Room 6, their families and I celebrated the publication of BUTTERFLIES IN ROOM 6 with a gala party in Mrs. Best's classroom at Haynes Elementary.
Mrs. Best's students in 2017, whose pictures are in the book
The kids were thrilled to receive their books, find the pictures of themselves in it and remember the thrill of raising painted lady butterflies. Afterward, we all enjoyed treats and special butterfly cupcakes. Many, many thanks to Jennifer Best, her students and their families. I couldn't have done the book without them!
Cupcakes with sugar butterflies

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Charlotte Huck Children’s Literature Festival, Redlands, California

The Charlotte S. Huck Children's Literature Festival is held every year at Redlands University, in California
A week ago, on March 8 and 9, I participated in the 23d Annual Charlotte S. Huck Children’s Literature Festival at the University of Redlands, in Redlands, California. This was my third time to be a speaker at the festival, an annual event that celebrates children’s books and is a wonderful opportunity for teachers and librarians to get together and have a chance to meet authors and other professionals in the field. Featured speakers this year were Joe Cepeda, Sharon Draper, Bethany Hegadus, Richard Michelson, Doreen Rappaport and Joyce Sidman–an impressive array of authors and illustrators. The Festival is chaired by Dr. Marjorie Arnett and a very hard working planning committee makes sure that everything runs smoothly.
Signing books at the Festival
At one of the Festival breakout sessions I gave a workshop called Butterflies and Chicks: Hands on Science in the Classroom. I worked with two classes at Ramona Alessandro School in San Bernardino, California, who had been reading my books. The classes completed writing and art projects in a unit they called “Feathers and Forests, Wings and Wombats, an author study of nature and animal books by Caroline Arnold."
Samples of art and writing projects by Ramona Alessandro students that were displayed at the Festival
Their teachers, Kristy Forsythe and Arlene Asuelime, had done a fantastic job with the children. The visit to the festival was coordinated by parent volunteer Stephanie McNairy. I thank them all for helping to make my session a special experience for all. Two weeks earlier I had had the pleasure of visiting the children in their classroom where I got to see their penguin projects and we talked about the other books in my black and white animal series. Both classes had a chance to act out the story of A Polar Bear's World. They had also read Hatching Chicks in Room 6. I was impressed by their art projects showing a chicken’s life cycle and the stories they wrote to go with them. At my workshop session I shared my new book Butterflies in Room 6.

One of the special parts of the festival for me was meeting Joyce Sidman, who has a new book called The Girl Who Drew Butterflies, How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science. Her book, meant for older readers than my butterfly book, is the fascinating story of a young woman who was the first to understand the process of metamorphosis. Like me, Joyce Sidman raised her own painted lady butterflies while she was working on her book so she could see the process up close.
Joyce Sidman, Author
I always enjoy going to the Charlotte Huck Festival and find it inspiring on so many levels. This was another great year! Thank you, Marjorie, for inviting me!
Dr. Marjorie Arnett, Chair of the Charlotte Huck Children's Literature Festival

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

SAVE THE DATE! Sat. March 30, Book signing at Children's Book World of BUTTERFLIES IN ROOM 6

BUTTERFLY STORYTIME & BOOK SIGNING
Caroline Arnold
Saturday, March 30, 10:30 a.m.
Ages: 4-8

Join award-winning local author Caroline Arnold for an introduction to her entertaining and informative new book, Butterflies in Room 6: See How They Grow. Kindergarteners raise butterflies from egg to adult in this close-up look at the insect life cycle. Follow a classroom of real kindergartners as they participate in a popular activity: raising butterflies. Astonishing photographs show the life cycle of the painted lady butterfly, from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to adult. Painted Lady Butterfly coloring fun will follow Caroline’s presentation.
Available for signing:
CHILDREN’S BOOK WORLD
10580 1/2 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310) 559-BOOK/2665
cbwchildrensbooks@gmail.com
STORE HOURS
Mon. – Fri. 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM
Sat. 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

HOORAY! It’s Publication Day for BUTTERFLIES IN ROOM 6

HOORAY! Today is the official publication day for BUTTERFLIES IN ROOM 6, my new book about a kindergarten class raising painted lady butterflies. BUTTERFLIES IN ROOM 6 follows a class of kindergartners as they raise butterflies--from tiny eggs, to caterpillars, to chrysalises, to beautiful butterflies, before releasing them in the school garden. 
I thank all the people at Charlesbridge Publishing who helped make this such a terrific book–my wonderful editor Alyssa Pusey, Susan, Joyce and Sarah for the book design, Yolanda, Karen, Julie, Diane, Cathy and everyone else who contributed to making this such a special book.
I couldn’t have written BUTTERFLIES IN ROOM 6 without the help of Jennifer Best and her kindergarten students at Haynes Charter for Enriched Studies in Los Angeles, California. I thank them for welcoming me into their classroom and for sharing the wonder of metamorphosis with me. Their excitement was contagious as they watched the caterpillars transform into beautiful butterflies. I am also grateful to the children’s parents and the school principal, Barbara Meade, for their enthusiastic support.
It was great to work with Jennifer Best again. Two years ago I followed her class as they hatched eggs and learned about the life cycle of chickens. That experience became my book HATCHING CHICKS IN ROOM 6. Now we have a sequel! I am excited that it is now available to the public. Look for it at your favorite bookstore or online.

BUTTERFLIES IN ROOM 6

Saturday, March 9, 2019

WHY I WRITE FOR CHILDREN, Panel Discussion at LAPL sponsored by FOCAL

FOCAL Panel: Caroline Arnold, Michelle Markel, Hope Anita Smith at the Los Angeles Public Library
Last Sunday I spent a very enjoyable afternoon at the Los Angeles Public Library in downtown Los Angeles with friends and fellow authors Michelle Markel and Hope Anita Smith participating in a panel discussion of "Why I Write for Children" sponsored by FOCAL, the support group of the Children's Department at the library. (FOCAL stands for Friends of Children and Libraries.) We had an enthusiastic audience and a book signing afterwards.
Some of the questions we fielded included:
  • When did you first think about becoming a writer?
  • What inspired you to write for children?
  • Do you find yourself drawn to certain topics? Why?
  • What is the most difficult thing and/or the most exciting thing about being a writer?
  • What is the most surprising thing a child has asked you at a school visit or bookstore event?
A big thank you to all the volunteers at FOCAL--especially Renny Day, Caroline Gill, and Lauren Okayama for organizing the event.

Monday, March 4, 2019

HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY from SCBWI! Celebrating BUTTERFLIES IN ROOM 6 and Other New Books Published in March

For the next two weeks the Society of Children’s Book Writers will be featuring my new book, BUTTERFLIES IN ROOM 6: See How They Grow, along with books by other SCBWI members that are being published in March on their Happy Book Birthday page on their website www.scbwi.org.

I am also the lucky winner of the Happy Book Birthday drawing:  
This month's winner of the Happy Book Birthday drawing is Caroline Arnold for her nonfiction book Butterflies in Room 6: See How They Grow, which details the stages of butterflies raised in a kindergarten classroom. Ten copies of her book will be purchased by SCBWI and donated to Reading is Fundamental, an organization whose mission is to create a literate America by inspiring a passion for reading among all children, providing quality content to make an impact, and engaging communities in the solution to give every child the fundamentals for success.รข€ To learn more about Reading is Fundamental, visit their webpage  
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The official pub date for my book is March 12th. Join me in celebrating all through the month and beyond!
(Please note that the formatting of the cover image on the SCBWI site is incorrect. The correct image is below.)
BUTTERFLIES IN ROOM 6 follows a class of kindergartners as they raise butterflies--from tiny eggs, to caterpillars, to chrysalises, to beautiful butterflies, before releasing them in the school garden. Find out more at my website: http://www.carolinearnoldbooks.com/butterflies2.html