About 4 years ago, I participated in my very first World Read Aloud Day and scheduled Skypes with several great authors. I was pretty new to using Skype, especially with authors, so I was a bit nervous about how the day would go. What I discovered during that day was how powerful it can be to connect with an author or illustrator in their studio or home. Students get to see a side of an author or illustrator that is hard to replicate in a library visit because they can easily reach over and grab items that they are working on, tools that they use, objects that inspire them, and more. Skypes can also be an affordable alternative for schools on a budget for author visits.
One of the authors that I connected with on that first World Read Aloud Day was Anne Marie Pace. She knew there was a big snowstorm coming, so she proactively gave me her contact info in case anything happened. That morning, I got a call from her because her power was out. She was so sad to miss our connection, but we immediately rescheduled and had an amazing connection. Since that first Skype, she has shared Vampirina Ballerina with us, had Kindergartners up and dancing with her on the screen, and shared favorite picture books with our school and 4 others during our picture book smackdown.
She is a delight, and offers her wisdom on writing books and her love of reading. I’m so excited that she has a new book coming out that started when she was in the 1st grade. It’s so important for our students to hear that adult authors often save writing from their childhoods and sometimes those writings turn into a new published book.
Anne Marie has an opportunity coming up for 1st graders. I hope you’ll take a moment to read a message from her.
A Message from Anne Marie Pace:
“Because I was a first grader when I wrote the first draft of the story that has become my new book PIGLOO, I’d love to celebrate its release by talking with first graders about reading and writing. I am happy to offer ten free Skype visits to first grade classes across the United States in November and December (and January, if needed to schedule with the schools). To enter, I’d like first grade teachers to use this form to send me their information between October 3 and October 24. I’ll choose ten schools using a random number generator and contact the winners to arrange the scheduled visit.
Skype visits will be 20 minutes long and will include my reading PIGLOO, a bit of chat about how writing is hard but fun, too, and a Q&A. I’ll also send the winning classes some book-related swag and a teacher activity guide.
If teachers would like to send home a book order form to allow students to purchase a signed copy of the book, I have arranged with my local independent bookseller to ship copies of PIGLOO which I will inscribe and sign before they are shipped. This is NOT required to enter or to win, but some students and their families like to have this opportunity.
First grade teachers and librarians on behalf of first grade teachers only, please. Yes, I love kindergarteners and second graders, too, but this one’s for first grade. (Ks will get a chance in the spring for Vampirina at the Beach)”