I found the perfect job! It doesn’t pay in money, but the rewards are even greater. I get paid in smiles, hugs and fun comments and questions.
This month I have visited 2 Elementary schools, sharing stories from “The Odessa Chronicles”. The book of stories for all ages that Colin and I wrote together. A book that shares the crazy adventures of 4 best friends who happen to be a Barn Owl, a Tabby Cat, a magical Jackalope and a man-servant.
This past Monday I spent all day at the one school and my heart was full when I came home. It is hard to put into words the joy I feel at seeing a sparkle in a child’s eye and knowing that their sparkle and smile are because of stories that I helped to write! I usually have enough time with each class to share 3 stories from the book and in between take their comments and questions. I thought it would be fun to share some of their comments and questions with you, my wonderful followers. I do believe they will bring a smile to your face, just like mine.
I had just finished reading the story called “The Hole”, which revolves around a mysterious hole that Dewey the cat found. I asked the children what they thought made the hole and hands went up immediately. “A hedgehog”, “A porcupine”, “A shovel!”
“I think it was a lizard”, “Maybe a deer?” “A squirrel”, “I think it was a tiger!” At times I do find it a little hard to stay composed as I listen to their answers and think of a response.
I like to watch the faces of the children as I read the stories. I can see their eyes grow wide as Dewey the cat is flying in the air and I see them laugh, giving their classmate a nudge when one of the characters in the story has a joke played on them. It’s also fun to see them pick up on some clues of what may be coming later in the story.
The “Roof Top Incident” story has been a popular one. In the story the man-servant gets stuck up on the roof. How does he get down? Once again guesses are called out. The most popular one being that he went down the chimney. Or perhaps he jumped to the tree next to the farmhouse and then climbed down the tree. Maybe Odessa the Barn Owl, picks him up and flies him down to the ground.
Their questions can be just as entertaining.
“Which character is your favorite?”
“What was your inspiration for writing the book?”
“Did you and Colin write stories that you scrapped and didn’t use?”
“How long did it take you guys to write the book?”
“Did you write all the stories on paper?”
“Are there any stories where the one character goes on an adventure all by themselves?”
“Why do the characters have the names that they have?”
“Where does Colin live?” followed by “Wow! That’s really really far away!” when I told them Canada!
“Who made the really pretty picture of Odessa on the cover?”
“Will this book have one of those cool medals on its cover, you know the medals that really great books receive?”
“Does your book have any errors in it, for I found an error before in a book I read, the character’s name was misspelled.
Have I mentioned that sometimes I don’t know how to reply to their questions?
“Where is the man-servant, you need one, for he takes care of everyone.” This was in response to the stuffed Odessa, Jaxon and Dewey that I bring along with me. My sister surprised me with them and they have been wonderful to have. The children love seeing them and taking turns to hold them. Unfortunately it has not been real easy to find a stuffed man-servant, but now after this little girl pointed out how I need one, I am on the search for one once again!
Their comments make me laugh and they melt my heart.
One little boy came up to me at the end saying, “I really didn’t want you to stop reading, I was so caught up in the story.” A little girl, whose smile I can still see gave me a hug as she told me how much she loved the stories that I read, that they were so funny and that she really, really hopes her Mommy buys her the book.
I think of the little boy who came up to me as I was talking to someone else. He just threw his arms around my waist giving me a hug, not saying a word but wearing a big smile.
When I finished reading to one class a girl came up to me and gave me a note. She had written me a thank you note as I was reading! It was so sweet.
I have also been delighted by the comments of the teachers and the librarians that listen to me as well, while I read to the children. One admitted that she didn’t expect to enjoy the stories as much as she did, but that she was caught up in them too. Another one compared them to Winnie-The-Pooh and friends! That comment really warmed my heart for as a lot of you readers know, I love Winnie-the-Pooh!
I am going to a preschool tomorrow and am waiting for 3 other schools to get back to me. I don’t know how many other schools and public libraries will let me come, but its an adventure that I am very much enjoying!
There is a Pooh Bear quote that I feel pretty much sums up how Colin and I felt when writing the “The Odessa Chronicles”. We had no idea of what kind of responses we would receive, of where things might lead. We only knew one thing, that we were having fun!
If you would like to know more about “The Odessa Chronicles” and why it is creating excitement, feel free to click on the book cover in the right margin.