Doreen Cronin visited my school today. She is the author of 15 picture books, including Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type. This morning she read this book, published in 2001, to our Lower School. For them, this is a classic on a par with Robert McCloskey or even Dr. Seuss from my childhood.
Each year during our fall book fair, a visiting author comes to school. These visits are inspiring for both the students and the teachers. Writing Workshop is an important part of our school day. All of our children are published authors, with their books in our classroom library. Our kids love to write.
Over the years, I've been fascinated by the variety of people who have visited. Some authors share their process. Some focus on their subject matter. Some are all about plot, or character, or setting.
Doreen Cronin knew just how to reach my 3rd graders. She talked about what to do when you're stuck for an idea. She gave them concrete suggestions, and then led them in brainstorming. Choose a character, and give him a problem. The children were bursting with ideas.
One of Doreen Cronin's books is Diary of a Worm. For her visit, I wore this pair of earrings that look a bit like worms, although I think they're really snakes. They were a gift from my friend Lynne some 20 years ago. "You have a lot of earrings, but I don't think you have a pair like this," she said, laughing. Long, striped, pink and black snakes? My only pair. And perfect for this day.