I was at a reading conference this past weekend. One of my favorite sessions was presented by the owner of a local bookstore, Becky Anderson…. shout out to Anderson Book Store in Naperville!. The session was packed! The only technology needed – a document camera so the crowd could see the beauty of the books she shared. Not an e-reader in sight!
Becky, quite simply and so effectively, shared dozens of picture books for us to share with our students. As I sat and listened I was transported to another world. All those beautiful illustrations! And the words – the flowing, magical words that told their unique stories. Then it hit me. “Pull out your writers notebook and start taking notes! These brilliant authors can help you in your future writing!”
Jacqueline Woodson showed me how we can create a better world by showing kindness to others in her book, “Each Kindness”. Something I want to slice about in the future……how we show grace to others.
Paul Fleischman shared the story of a grandfather’s journey from Italy to the U.S. in his book, “The Matchbox Diary”. His memories are shared entirely through artifacts from his childhood. He tells the whole story through dialogue. I can do that!
Oliver Jeffers illustrated the beauty of nature in his book, “This Moose Belongs to Me”. I probably won’t actually draw my own illustrations in future slices, BUT, I may include more photos to tell my story.
Henry Cole reminded me of the important story of the Underground Railroad in his stunning, wordless picture book, “Unspoken”. I would lke to think about history a little bit more in my writing. Perhaps not only my history, but the history of all of US.
I was inspired and moved to write after spending time with these wise and prolific poets, essayists, novelists….creators. I thank them for their guidance as I experiment with their craft in my own writing.