Panic erupted in my mind and in my brain a couple of weeks ago when my eldest daughters teacher approached me in the playground and asked me whether I would take part in an author / reading day for the students to promote reading, writing, spelling and drawing. Of course I said yes, I was over the moon the teachers saw me as a proper author and wanted me to come in and give a talk. Then she also dropped the bombshell that I could read my book and make up an activity for the children. (I must point out she didn’t tell me I had to, she said I could if I wanted to). Well I was super excited and went home and came up with the brilliant idea of trying to get the children to make their own books by folding paper and getting them to write and draw. I soon changed my mind when the 25 minute time limit I had been given for each class was too little to make a book, draw and write in it after trial running it at home. So my new idea – To get the kids to design their own front covers!
Drawing (Illustrating) for a book is just as important as the writing. You need a front cover to show readers what genre the book is in, whether it is for adults or kids, what its about, to draw the reader in and to be eye catching. Without a cover a book is just a really long essay, the cover helps to make it. And since some of the problem with kids not wanting to read is because they can’t, I didn’t want to make them feel small for not being able to read, so I though drawing a cover would be a great way to involve them all.
So what would I need???
- A4 Paper for the kids to draw, decorate and make their cover on.
- Glue sticks for them to stick things to their cover.
- Pictures from magazines, e.g. animals, dinosaurs, princesses etc. They could glue the pictures on.
- Stickers, to compliment their drawings and cut out, glued on pictures. I thought this would get them excited to make their covers.
- Pencils, so they could draw and colour in their covers.
- My book ‘BunnyMoo’, so I could read it to them and hopefully inspire them to want to read more books!!!
(Planning for the event)…
So how did it go???
So the big day arrived and although I was super excited I was also super freaked out and nervous. Why? Because I’m naturally a nervous person and this was sooooooo out of my comfort zone. But I wanted and needed to push myself, I needed to know I could do talks and activities and survive as I have a bigger author talk coming up in April.
The teachers around me were AMAZING, and made me feel so comfortable and were super friendly organising the kids and letting me trash their classroom with stickers. I started off with each of the four classes by reading them my book, it only took about 5 minutes and I hoped this would show them all what my book was, the pictures in it and how they could use my idea to create their own covers. They also asked me questions about why I decided to become an author, who drew my pictures, why I chose the name and the characters and also some about self publishing (Although that was mostly the teachers enquiring). I also told them about how my book was based on my pet rabbit Ella and our neighbouring gardens, who the owners do actually own chickens and Tortoises!!!
Once the questions were over I sent them off to do their activities and I have to admit I adored all their unique designs and ideas. From them all I could see all their own ideas, personalities and interests coming through and it made me feel awesome that I was able to help make them create that.
Soon it was over, just like that! I was gifted a box of chocolates, which made me feel very humbled and appreciated and in return I also gifted the class of my eldest a copy of my book. I felt they deserved it, but also it can remain in that school until it falls apart!!!
(Drawing I drew to show the kids what to do and one my daughter drew on the day!!!)
Highlights of the day…
- Showing the children my book and getting honest reviews from them on it. (Kids are truthful and tell you if they do or don’t like things).
- Having the children and teachers address me as an author.
- Having the teachers ask me about being an author too.
- Getting a box of chocolates!!! Yum Yum.
If your an Author like me and are asked to do a talk, just don’t sweat it. Be prepared and think it all through and just breathe. And if all else fails pick up your book and read it!!!
Happy Reading and Writing.