As the school librarian and someone who has a passion for literacy, I want my students to be inspired to read and write. Last week was one of those times where I was reminded exactly why I do what I do. Through Wondermore’s Authors-In-Schools Program, we were lucky enough to have Michelle Knudsen come and speak to our K1 and K2 classes.
Michelle Knudsen is a New York Times best-selling author. Her picture book Library Lion was selected by Time Magazine as one of the Best 100 Children’s Books of All Time. Other books Michelle has written include Marilyn’s Monster, Big Mean Mike, and Argus. I start every school year off by reading Library Lion to the students, as it is great way to introduce students to the wonders of the library and library rules.
Wondermore believes “powerful interactions between the creators of children’s books and underserved K-8 students in Boston motivate children to become better readers and writers.” I couldn’t agree more! Being able to put a face with the name really allowed the students to connect to the stories Michelle shared and stay engaged. Meeting authors like Michelle makes books accessible and real to students. Authors are real people that work through the writing process just like we do. Before the author visit, the students and I read many of Michelle’s books and brainstormed questions we wanted to ask during her visit (“What is your favorite book?” “How do you make a book?” “Why is Big Mean Mike so mean?”) The K1 and K2 teachers did a great job readying the students and familiarizing them with Michelle’s stories. Michelle even commented on how well-prepared our students were. Go Shaw students!
The visit was incredible. All of the students loved Michelle and how friendly she was. They loved her props and the nonfiction facts she presented, as well as her picture books. At the end of the visit every student received their own personally autographed copy of Library Lion. I could tell this author visit will stay with the students for years to come. If the end goal was to get our Kindergarten students excited about reading, then it worked! Many of them are already asking when we can have another author come visit!
Mrs. Keohane is the School Librarian at the P.A. Shaw. She loves hockey, going to the beach, and reading (obviously!)