Darlene Foster's Blog

Love those kids!

Posted on: February 6, 2012

School presentation


I had the opportunity to visit Holly School in Surrey this past week.  I am always so impressed with these kids.  They ask great questions and are so attentive.  The boys and girls, from the grade three, four and five classes, said they enjoyed the Amanda stories and were hoping there would be more. (I guess that should be incentive enough for me to keep writing!)  They love the animals in the stories, Ali Baba the camel  in Amanda in Arabia and Pedro the pony in Amanda in Spain.  I told them about Rupert, the Maine Coon cat in the next book, Amanda in England. One girl knew all about Maine Coon cats and shared her knowledge.

I brought my pictures, a Spainish shawl, Pedro and some items depicting the Velazquez painting.  There was interest in Guadi and his strange buildings, especially the chimneys on the roof tops. Some of the children spoke Spanish and were pleased to see some Spanish words in the text.  The teacher mentioned that they would correct her when she mispronounced the Spanish words.  I was pleased to hear that the books were almost always checked out from the library and were used in the classroom as well. One student mentioned they did an art project based on one of the books. This made me very happy.









Speaking of bright young people, ten year old Erik over at thiskidreviewsbooks writes fabulous reviews on kids books and wrote a  flattering review on Amanda in Arabia.  He said he really enjoyed the story because it has tons of excitement and adventure in it. He also really liked Ali Baba.  Check out his reviews if you are looking for quality books for kids.  He also shares quotes and I especially liked this one:

“We are the authors of our own lives… Too bad we write in pen so we can not erase our mistakes” – Unknown

Nothing is more satifying than knowing children are reading and enjoying booksSpending time with them as an author is a delightful perk.  Many say reading books is no longer a popular passtime for children.  What I have discovered is just the opposite as these children were as enthusiastic and excited about books as I was at their age.

Do you enjoy reading and discussing books with children? Have you found them to be as interested in books as other generations? 


21 Responses to "Love those kids!"

How wonderful this must have been for you, Darlene and for the kids!

Thanks Rosemarie! It was wonderful, another dream come true to be able to talk about my books in a school library. Who would have thought!

I’m glad you had such fun with the kids, Darlene. They can be the most enthusiastic of audiences. =)

They are a great audience Keli. I also teach adult classes in my day job, and these kids were more well behaved! Thanks for the comment.

I’ve read my unpublished picture book manuscripts several times in the local elementary school. The kids are always ready to listen and ask questions. It’s a great way to see if the humour injected into the story works. If the kids laugh, you know to keep it.

To know your book is being borrowed at the school library is a thrill. I have a nine-year-old spy who lets me know when he sees a student reading my “Mystery Light in Cranberry Cove”. He says he seldom sees it on the shelf which means it’s in a child’s hand somewhere.

It’s a real honour for a child to love the book enough to do a project with it. Great stuff.

Trying out your WIP with the target audience is such a great idea. I love that you have a “spy” reporting to you. I must get one of those too! Thanks for the comments Diane.

Thank you for mentioning me! 🙂 I really enjoyed your book!!!

How wonderful!!! What an experience for you and the kids! I would have loved that as s girl, to meet with the author of the books I was reading! wow.

In my house books are very much alive. We read books all the time. My 8 year old reads alone and not as much with me anymore, but my middle child who is 5 still doesn’t read very well, so if I’m not reading to her then she’s making up the story to fit the pictures, or as she remembers it. And the 1.5 year old often has books in his hands even without an adult with him.
One of our favourite things is to listen to the magic tree house collection on audio in the car. It really sparks the kids imagination and gets them telling their own stories. One of the things I hope to do is write a book together with the kids. We’ve thought about some ideas, but so far haven’t moved past this.

Your children are indeed fortunate that you encourage all of them to read and engage in storytelling. A book written together would be such a great idea. Hope you do it some day!

Your school visits look and sound WONDERFUL–you must be such an inspiration to those kids! Speaking of “writing books together with your kids,” our oldest granddaughter (she was ten at the time) and I journaled my cancer journey together and it was a truly awesome experience that neither of us will ever forget.

What a wonderful experience for both of you. One your granddaughter will never forget. I try to spend as much quality time with my grandchildren as posible even though they live in another province. Reading together is always part of the time we spend together. I am always sending them books too. They call me “the book grandma”.

You can’t do better than great reviews by your #1 fans.

Thanks Sheila! Great to hear from you.

My granddaughter mentioned reading Amanda in Spain, and is now reading Amanda in Arabia. I asked her thoughts and her reply was, “I loooooovvvvvvvvvvvvvvved it!” 🙂 I told her you are working on the next one, much to her delight.

Thanks Patti. This just made my day!!

My wife and I are fortunate that our children Xavier, 5 and Lucy, 2 love reading and being read to and we never get through a book without a flurry of questions being asked and discussed. It drives home to me how important it is for our children to be stimulated by books and reading because they do become so inquisitive.

I would love to have an experience like yours Darlene. It looks like you had a wonderful time.

It is a true sign of good parenting when reading is encouraged in a home. It is such a wonderful activity to do together too. My grown children often comment that no matter how busy I was while they were growing up, I always had time to read to and with them and it is one of their fondest memories. (guess I did something right!) You might want to contact high schools or colleges Dean, to do a reading of The Hambledon Dream. YA interested in writing themselves love meeting authors.

I have actually wondered about that Darlene but have to confess that I’m not sure how to go about it (ie. contacting schools).

I’m a little nervous when it comes to approaching people like that.

I loved reading about your school visit, Darlene and seeing the photos. What a thrill it must have been!

I have never had the opportunity to discuss my book with kids, plenty of adults, but no kids. It must be a thrill to actually talk to your target audience and hear what their thoughts are.

Laura, it is the best! I love hearing their thoughts and answering their questions. You might want to contact a local school and see if you can do a presentation. It is so much fun and creates more interest in your book.

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