Wednesday, February 27, 2008
"Thank you Miss Ginger!"
I'm a lucky person!I get to witness both the inner workings of making literature for children and seeing what that literature can do in the hands of a child! And I don't know which I like best- for the past five years I have had the fun of teaching ART to rural ranch kids and Native American kid,mostly Navajo, at Battle Rock Charter School in historical McElmo Canyon.
I'm also a freelance writer and aspiring freelance illustrator who is getting to know some very kind and cool illustrators-and one of the coolest and kindest is Ginger Nielson- who just donated a whole box full of her new book- "The Adventures of Cali" to my kindergarten through second graders.Written by Michele Lallouz Fisher, with wonderful "Ginger-esque" illustrations- she has such a distinct look- the story tracks the travel of a little caterpillar that is hiding in a delious tomato patch and found by a curious boy.
What makes these books really cool is they come with a little recorder- so the kids can have someone record the story and than they can read along listening to the device.
Anything, again I say anything, that gets these kids interested in reading is a good thing. As is true across the rural West,reading is a skill that is sometimes overlooked- and if a "gimmick" of a recorder- is used to get a kid in a lap of an adult reading- I'll do the happy dance.
The recorder, itself will be great for these kids as well- allowing them to listen to their own voices- Navajos, by their culture, can be very soft spoken- so sometimes it is hard to get these kids to talk much, but who doesn't like to hear the sound of their own voice!
So thank you, Miss Ginger, for your generosity- the kids loved the story and loved the illustration and thought it was pretty cool that I knew you! Some fuzzy caterpillars are coming your way- so watch your mailbox!!