Picture Book Sneak Peek–> FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY THE WORLD MOVES + 10 Qs with Vivian Kirkfield and a #Giveaway!

Happy (Almost) Book birthday to Vivian Kirkfield’s collective biography of inventors who didn’t take impossible for an answer.

FROM HERE TO THERE:

INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY THE WORLD MOVES

(HMH / Illus. Gilbert Ford/  January 19, 2021)

A JLG SELECTION 

Check out the reviews! 

“These innovations in transportation should inspire readers to go far….Educators will also delight in the hefty amount of supplemental backmatter.” Kirkus

“Kirkfield has a knack for finding elements of human interest as well as historical significance in each account. The colorful, dynamic illustrations help readers visualize the times as well as the challenges faced by the inventors. While this may not be the most comprehensive introduction to transportation history, it’s surely one of the most enjoyable.”Booklist 

This fascinating book launches in January
and WE get a sneak peek!

Here are 10 Qs with Vivian Kirkfield:

Vivian Kirkfield: Thank you so much, Erin,

for inviting me!

Q 1: How does launching FROM HERE TO THERE… in this pandemic—differ from your Jan 2020 book launch of MAKING THEIR VOICES HEARD: THE INSPIRING FRIENDSHIP OF ELLA FITZGERALD AND MARILYN MONROE (Little Bee Books/ Illus. Alleanna Harris)?

Vivian Kirkfield: Great question, Erin. I guess the biggest difference is that everything is being done remotely. Last year, for MAKING THEIR VOICES HEARD, I started off with an onsite book launch at my local Barnes & Noble in Manchester, New Hampshire…friends and family came from all over – and I even got to meet friends of my cousin who drove several hours, all the way from upstate New York. And the next day, I flew to Chicago, stayed with family, and did half a dozen school visits and a bookstore event at Anderson’s in Naperville. I returned home at the end of February and that’s when Covid hit…so all subsequent book events ground to a halt. But I was so lucky to have that initial marketing and promotion time.

Publishing in a pandemic…

Vivian Kirkfield: For FROM HERE TO THERE, I’m sure there won’t be any onsite events. However, we are better prepared with online activities, I think. I already have a robust book blog tour scheduled (thank you so much, Erin, for being one of my supporters!) and the publisher, Houghton Mifflin, along with Gilbert Ford, the brilliant illustrator, are arranging a virtual launch party at Books of Wonder in New York City which is VERY exciting. And I’ve been volunteering for several Zoom author visits to a Texas school district, plus I’m signed up for World Read Aloud Day and already have a couple of slots filled. I’m excited to read one of the stories in the book – with nine separate biographies, there is a lot to choose from!

*ED note: Check out part of the blog tour here–
Unpacking the Picture Book Power

Q 2. What was the inspiration for FROM HERE TO THERE…?

Vivian Kirkfield: My sister and I chat on a daily basis and she’s always telling me interesting tidbits – like how a friend of a friend is the granddaughter of the founder of the Greyhound Bus Company and how he came here from Sweden in 1905 with only $60 in his pocket. After several unsuccessful attempts at various lines of work, Eric Wickman began offering shuttle rides to the miners in Hibbing, Minnesota. The rides were so popular, he built a bus to hold more customers and built a business that became Greyhound. One of the coolest things is that he always tried to work together and partner with competitors. The story fascinated me and I wanted to learn more so I researched, reached out to the granddaughter, and wrote the story. And when Ann Rider at Houghton Mifflin received the manuscript, she had a vision for a compilation book that would include biographies of a wide range of people whose inventions changed the way the world moves.

Check out the first page of the chapter on Eric Wickman and the Greyhound Bus! Art by Gilbert Ford.

Q 3. How did you choose these inventors?

Vivian Kirkfield: Choosing the inventors was a challenge, but so much fun! The editor asked me to come up with a list of 7 to 10 diverse inventions/inventors – and the only guidelines were that she wanted me to show the Ah-ha moment for each invention and she wanted all of the stories to be engaging narratives with STEM sidebars. I had already written a picture book bio about the Montgolfier brothers and the first manned hot air balloon – so that was a no-brainer. And of course, I had the bus story about Eric Wickman. Finding inventors of things that move wasn’t difficult, but finding information about the Ah-ha moment, finding information about their childhood so that I could begin the story there, finding the heart of each story and weaving it through the narrative – those were the challenges.

I knew I wanted as much diversity as possible – so for the car, I chose Bertha Benz’ ground-breaking road trip instead of her husband’s actual invention of the first gas-powered automobile. And for the boat, the story is about a pioneer in computer programming, one of the African American hidden figures in the Navy, Raye Montague. When her boss challenged her to create a computer-generated design for a frigate in two months, even though it had previously taken years, Raye and her team of engineers did it in eighteen hours and fifty-six minutes!

…every one of the inventors faced huge challenges, but never gave up.

There is also a story about the first folding wheelchair, invented by a former high hurdler who was paralyzed due to a mining accident. And another story about the first robotic device, a mechanical arm now used in manufacturing world-wide. And how about the first bicycle? Did you ever wonder who came up with that? And why? Each story is engaging and entertaining, as well as informational and inspiring – every one of the inventors faced huge challenges, but never gave up. And that’s the thread that ties all of the stories together…and that I hope will inspire kids – that we all need to have hopes and dreams and plans of what might be – and that we can build those dreams into reality.

FROM HERE TO THERE interior –Art by Gilbert Ford.

Q 4. What was the most surprising fact or discovery you made as your book, FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY THE WORLD MOVES, went from idea to published book?

Vivian Kirkfield: The most surprising fact? That I could write seven full-length picture book stories in seven months – from ideas to research to rough drafts to polished submission ready manuscripts to working on the revisions suggestions the editor would send me during the entire process. I look back at that time and wonder how I did it because there was a lot of other stuff going on at that time.

PIPPA’S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, February 5, 2019), illustrated by Jill Weber.

I had just signed book deals for Pippa’s Passover Plate and for Four Otters Toboggan: An Animal Counting Book, and was also doing revisions on Sweet Dreams, Sarah which had been pushed back from its original March 2017 launch date, plus in early 2018, Making Their Voices Heard: The Inspiring Friendship of Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe went under contract. And since each book was with a different publishing house and a different editor and a different illustrator, I learned a lot about the publishing industry. 😊

Interior–MAKING THEIR VOICES HEARD: The Inspiring Friendship of Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe (Little Bee Books, January 14, 2020) illustrated by Alleanna Harris

Q 5. If younger reader Vivian had read FROM HERE TO THERE, which inventor or visionary would have resonated with her the most? (and why?)

Vivian Kirkfield: Oh Erin, super question! As a kid, I was such a fan of nonfiction…I read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica and, if there was nothing to read at the breakfast table, I read the back of the cereal box! I think I’d have to choose Bertha Benz because I absolutely LOVE her courage! Young reader Vivian was a timid child, afraid of going new places and meeting new peoples and doing new things. I would have been inspired by Bertha’s ingenuity – when the car overheated, she stopped at a stream to pour water over the engine. When the fuel line clogged, she used her hat pin to get it unstuck. And when the wooden blocks that served as brakes wore down, she pulled up to a cobbler shop and told the shoemaker to cover the blocks with pieces of leather—first brake pads!!!! Returning home after a successful road trip to her mother’s home 65 miles away, Bertha gave her husband a honey-do list – the improvements he needed to make on the car. And with the publicity her road trip garnered, the cars finally began to sell. I’m happy to say that in 2012, Bertha Benz was inducted into the Detroit Automotive Hall of Fame for her contribution to the automobile industry.

Click above image to view the Detroit Automotive Hall of Fame’s Bertha Benz tribute.

Q 6. Speaking of changes, in looking back at your writing journey, was there an ah-hah moment—from a book, workshop, feedback, writing tip, author keynote, or possibly a “failure”– that changed the way you write children’s books, or changed your path to publication?

Vivian Kirkfield: My writing journey began with a present from my son for my 64th birthday—he took me skydiving. When my feet touched that ground, that was my first Ah-ha moment because I realized that if I could do that, I could do anything. That was 2011…and I joined 12×12 in 2012 when Julie Hedlund started it up. 12×12 was the second Ah-ha moment because I set my mind to writing 12 rough drafts in 12 months…and I did it! In 2014, I took five different picture book writing classes with five different instructors and that was my third Ah-ha moment because it helped me hone my craft and, by the end of that year, I was receiving positive feedback from agents who had read my manuscripts. But I guess, if I have to pick ONE Ah-ha moment, it would be June 2014 when I took a nonfiction picture book writing class and wrote my first nonfiction pb bio…Sweet Dreams, Sarah – or, as I had originally titled it Sarah’s Folding Bed. 😊 Although I do write other types of picture books, my heart is definitely with nonfiction.

Believe in yourself!

Q 7. What tips or advice would you give your former teacher-self, as well as to readers who might want to write children’s books someday?

Vivian Kirkfield: Another great question, Erin! As I mentioned, I was timid. Writing had always been a pleasurable activity for me and I wrote many little stories for my own children, but never pursued them seriously. I guess my advice to my younger self would be: Believe in yourself! In 1967 I graduated from college, got married, and began teaching kindergarten in New York City…and although I read picture books every day to my students, I never thought my name might be on those books one day. The 60’s was a time of great innovation in picture books – Ezra Jack Keats (from my hometown of Brooklyn) wrote The Snowy Day, the first picture book with an African American hero. And Maurice Sendak (also from Brooklyn) wrote Where the Wild Things Are. Perhaps had I been a bit braver or imbued with a bit more self-confidence, I might have ventured into the world of writing picture books sooner. So, my advice to readers would be: Nothing is impossible if you can imagine it.

Q 8. What would you like readers to take away from these inspirational biographies?

Vivian Kirkfield: The main characters in my biographies are really ordinary people…some who had physical difficulties, others had mental difficulties, and still others had difficulties imposed on them in the form of racial or other prejudices. I hope that readers take away the belief that all of them are entitled to have hopes and dreams and plans of what might be…and that they can build those dreams into reality.

Fun fact: Vivian Kirkfield is a former kindergarten teacher, so we asked her… 

Q 9. What question might one of your former kindergarten students ask you about writing or this book? (Besides the random: “I flew in an airplane!”) Please answer. : )

Vivian Kirkfield: Don’t you love those random questions? 😊 But honestly, I find that most of the questions that kids ask are on point. The most popular questions from kindergarteners have been: How many books did you write? Which book did you write first?

Q 10. What is the BEST thing about this writing journey/path to publication?

Vivian Kirkfield: Although I love the writing and I LOVE getting book deals and I LOVE, LOVE sharing my books with kids, my very favorite part of this journey has been connecting with other writers, in person and online – I’ve been so impressed with the kindness and generous spirit of the kid-lit community – and I’m having a blast and living my dream!

Thank you so much for inviting me to chat, Erin!

It was my pleasure, Vivian!

But WAIT.
Here’s the #Giveaway as promised:

Vivian Kirkfield has graciously offered to giveaway a copy of FROM HERE TO THERE OR a pb critique…the winner can decide which! To enter:

  1. Reply in the comments below and tell us the most unusual mode of transportation you’ve used.
  2. For extra tickets in the giveaway hat, share this post on social media (tag us!) and/or subscribe to this blog (info at the top of this post).

To learn more about Vivian Kirkfield and her books, check out her website viviankirkfirled.com and follow her on

Twitter: @viviankirkfield 

Insta: viviankirkfield 

Next up on the blog–

Debut picture book author Alexandra Alessandri talks about:

Felíz New Year, Ava Gabriela! 

and new year’s traditions.

Until then, be safe, mask up, and keep reading!

DEAR EARTH… from your awesome 5th Grade friends–> #blogtakeover!

Hi Blog Readers–Our teacher Mrs. Pete read us Erin Dealey’s new book, DEAR EARTH…From Your Friends in Room 5 (Harper Collins) and guess what?

5th Graders still like picture books!

Here are a few things we like about DEAR EARTH…From Your Friends in Room 5:

  • The pictures by Luisa Uribe and how much color there was. –Omar M.

  • It talked about Earth. –Mireyli M.G.
  • Earth and the kids (and the boy, Bernard) were writing letters to each other. –Alexis H., Madelyn B., Nevaeh H., and Kristy M.

  • The part where they made a veggie garden. –Anthony R.F.
  • The part where Room 5 planted a tree. –Shelly H.
  • How they reused stuff. –Dallis T.

  • People saving the earth. –Haley T.

It made us think about…

  • Taking better care of Earth. –Tyler K.
  • If we can be more eco-friendly, what would that change bout the earth?     –Omar M.
  • Keeping Earth clean. –Mireyli M.G.
  • Not wasting a lot of paper. –Anthony R.F.
  • Starting to create less trash–and compost.  –Shelly H.
  • That you should keep the earth clean and healthy. –Madelyn B.

It also made us think about talking to someone that lives far away from you.

It made us think we should start to save the earth.

It’s something we want to start doing.

Also…

We have questions for you, Erin Dealey:

Q 1. from Tyler K.: What’s the best thing that you could do for Earth?

Erin Dealey: As you saw in DEAR EARTH…, there are many ways we can help Earth all year long. So I think one of the best things we can do is make Earth Day every day. Earth Day is wonderful. But let’s move forward from helping EARTH and our environment on just that day. Why not make these eco-friendly habits part of our daily lives?

Q 2. from Alexis H.: Can you teach us about the four R’s and what we can do to help the earth?

Erin Dealey: If you check out the back matter of DEAR EARTH…, you’ll see my suggestions about the four R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Renew. I chose to add a4th R,  renew, because cleaning up bleaches and playgrounds–really, anywhere that we live–can help restore the extraordinary beauty of our world. And planting a tree not only adds to the beauty (and shade) but helps absorb fossil fuel gases and produce oxygen which refreshes  our air.

PS Your question prompted me to mask up, glove up, and clean up our road. Look at all the trash I found!

Q 3. from Omar M.: How do you come up with stories for a book? 

Erin Dealey: I find ideas everywhere. Sometimes a crazy What If? will pop into my head. Or a phrase that might make a fun title like GOLDIE LOCKS HAS CHICKEN POX (My very first picture book–which I wrote in the pick-up line of YOUR school!) and PETER EASTER FROG, a board book which will be released this January 2021. The inspiration for DEAR EARTH… came from a holiday card of an angel holding Earth in her hands. My first draft was a conversation between the angel and Earth. Eventually, this became the letters between Room 5 and Earth.

 

Q 4. from Nayeli L.S.: Can read read more books….please? 

Erin Dealey: Oh my, YES. Absolutely, Nayeli! Read, read, read!

We zoomed with Erin Dealey and wrote poems about all kinds of things.

Here’s our poem for EARTH:

And here are some individual poems we wrote. Ms. Dealey says they are excellent examples of VOICE:  

Thinking is a gift. 
A gift that is beautiful. 
Beautiful and so very powerful. 
So very powerful it’s scary. 
Scary that,                                          
when converted into action, 
no logic can keep its hands bound.           
by Tyler K.
***
2020 was the worst year
everyone was in quarantine
I lost my brain cells on tik tok 
Cause i was bored 
I don’t know what to write
Class is so hard 
I need to finish my 50 assignment on google classroom half are missing 
by B.M.M.
***
Rudolf has a red nose.
Red noses are rare.
Rare like seeing a rocket ship.
Rocket ships are cool.
Cool like computers.
Computers are fun.
Fun like playing with my dog.
Dogs are cute.
Cute like koalas.
koalas are fluffy.
by Anthony R.F.
***
Tis the season
Seasons change
Change is good
Good is food
Food we need
Need is help
Help is kindness
Kindness we have
by  O.M.
***
Air lets us 
live. Live means
to be alive. 
Alive means awake.
Awake is when
you wake up.
Up is a
movie.  Movie is
Like a play.
Play is having
Fun. 
by N.L.S
***
This year is a dumpster fire.
Fire is hot.
Hot Unlike this year’s songs.
Songs are good. Good is great.
Great is better than good.
Good’s ok. Ok
Is alright. Alright
Is fine. Fine
Is mediocre. Mediocre
Is not this year.
This year is not good.
Good does not define this year.
This year is a dumpster fire.
by Tyler K.
***
Life is amazing 
Amazing is plants and animals
Animals are furry, and colorful
colorful is the pattern 
The pattern is the animal type
And the type is in the heart
Haley T.
***
The world is strange.
Strange that it’s just a tiny marble
Floating around in space.
Space is strange.
Strange that it’s endless.
Endless is the simple concept of time.
Time is a measuring device
Used in the world.
The world is strange.
by Tyler K.
Thank you for letting us
takeover your blog, Erin Dealey.
Thank you for teaching us: 
Erin Dealey: You  guys are amazing!  I LOVED what you wrote.
Keep writing. Keep using your voices. 
Thank you (and Mrs. Pete) for sharing your thoughts with us.
Happy safe Holiday to all. 
Next up on the blog: a sneak peek at Vivian Kirkfield’s latest nonfiction picture book,  FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY THE WORLD MOVES, (Illus. Gilbert Ford) which releases from HMH in January.
And did you see the recent interview with THE Sharon Creech?

Room FIVE-04’s Blog Takeover–6th grade Poems, Posters + what we learned about writing.

We’re back! Remember us?–Your friends in Room FIVE-04 from Lincoln Elementary in the Central Valley of CA?

We’re the ones who took over Erin Dealey’s blog on the Book Birthday of

DEAR EARTH…From Your Friends in Room 5!

(See part 1of our Blog Takeover here.)

Today we’re back to share some more posters we made and a few of the poems we wrote with Ms. Dealey. But first…

One of the things Ms. Dealey told us is: 

by Elijah G.

We learned that writing is not like Math, where the answer is either right or wrong. When a teacher or editor takes their red pen to your paper, it’s to help you polish it, and make it so others can read it. Edits are not a bad thing.

Edits help you turn your

writing into reading. 

She also said if we don’t know what to write, start with:

“This is crazy. I don’t know what to write. Why is she making us write this?”

We hope you’ll enjoy our poems & posters:

by Elijah G.

by Izabella D.

by Jas. S

by Hailey R.

Miah wrote this poem for her new baby sister. Poems can be about anything! Poems help you use your voice.

by Izabella D.

Poems can express emotions:

Love is wonderful.

Wonderful as you are.

Are you feeling this feeling?

Love, love, love.

Love is powerful.

Love is strong.

Love is something that you cannot break. 

Breaking will not do anything because of this powerful force.

This force is like the solar system.

The solar system you cannot break as well.

It’s like the planets.

The planets are a representation of love.

 The planets are held together with love. 

Love, love, love.

Love is everything. 

Everything you want to become can happen because of love.

Love is wonderful. 

by Mannat P.

 

by Yehloe B.

It turns out writing poems isn’t so crazy after all. 

And check out all our cool DEAR EARTH posters here!

Thank you, Erin Dealey, for zooming and writing with us,

and letting us take over your blog again.

Writing is never wrong! 

Happy Holidays, thank you Mrs. Howard, and Happy Writing to everyone.

From your friends in Room FIVE-04.

 

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year—to give books! A very special 2020 ICYMthem Book List of MG / YA novels published in this crazy #pandemic.

Thanks to everyone who shared and shopped selections from our

2020 Recommended Picture Books List.

For those wondering what books to give the older kids on your list…

Check out these must-read 2020 books

for Middle Grade / Young Adult 

Yes, there are many other titles out there. (Feel free to add them in the comments below.)

Just making sure these awesome titles are on your book-radar too!

Because…2020

Click the links to learn more:

Chapter Books series

The Dramatic Life of Azaleah Lane (Book 2) –Nikki Shannon Smith / Gloria Felix /Picture Window/ Capstone  / Grades 1-3

Dragons vs. Unicorns (Kate the Chemist /Book 1)  –Dr. Kate Biberdorf with Hillary Homzie / Philomel / Grades 3-7

Look At Rollo! (Book 4) –Reed Duncan / Keith Frawley /  Penguin Workshop / Grades 1-2

The Story of… a biography series for new readers: including…

The Story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (The Story of… a biography series for new readers) –Susan B. Katz / Rockridge Press / Grades 1-2

The Story of Amelia Earhart (The Story of… a biography series for new readers) –Stacia Deutsch / Rockridge Press / Grades 1-2

Middle Grade:

Efrén Divided  –Ernesto Cisneros /Quill Tree Books / Harper Collins

Flying Over Water –Shannon Hitchcock & Naheed Hasnat Senzai / Scholastic

One Time –Sharon Creech / Harper Collins

Operation Frog Effect –Sarah Scheeger, w/ graphic novel sections Illus. Gina Perry / Yearling / Penguin Random House–a 2019 title but just released in paperback!

Parked –Danielle Svetcov / Dial

Prairie Lotus –Linda Sue Park / Clarion

The Boys in the Back Row –Mike Jung / Levine Querido

Young Adult

How To Live On The Edge –Sarah Scheerger / Carolrhoda Lab

Red Hood –Elana K. Arnold / Balzer & Bray

What I Carry –Jennifer Longo / Random House

YA Series

(Be sure to check out all the titles in this series.)

The Hand on the Wall (Book 3 of the Truly Devious series) –Maureen Johnson / Katherine Tegan Books

We encourage you to consider these books for your holiday gifts.

And if possible, #ShopIndie #indiecember.  

Happy Holidays to ALL–

and heartfelt thanks to the fabulous authors & illustrators, teachers & librarians, and

booksellers in our #kidlit community, for coming together this year even stronger and more determined to help get each other’s books on the radar of young readers and their families. Special shout-outs to #2020BookLook, bloggers everywhere, @2021derfuls (who started early!) and my amazing @EastWestLit family. It definitely takes a village and I wouldn’t want to “live” anywhere else.

Stay safe, friends.

Cheers to 2021 getting here SOON!

Happy (belated) Book Birthday to ONE TIME & 5 Qs with THE Sharon Creech

It’s a Book Birthday party for

Newbery Medal winner and New York Times bestselling author

Sharon Creech’s new MG novel:

ONE TIME

(Harper Collins/ Sept. 8, 2020)

Are you ready to celebrate?

Seriously, any day that I get to chat

with one of my #kidlit sHEROES

is a time for celebration!

This book is magic. 

It’s about finding your voice

and your stories…

But don’t take my word for it: 

Creech writes Gina’s narration with comfortable magic…The real focus here is the magic of storytelling, as the class falls in love with Miss Lightstone’s literary leadership and develops their own voices…Ultimately, the book renders the familiar charmed in a way that will gratify youngsters seeking to bring enchantment into their own lives.”

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

A standout teacher and mysterious new student open the minds and notebooks of Gina Filomena and her fellow classmates…Gina, her classmates, and readers simultaneously discover that with most people there is far more than meets the eye. Newbery-winning Creech skillfully catches Gina at the point in life when a child’s small world opens up into a much wider adult one. As Gina navigates this transition, the line between real and imagined is blurred… For fans of Creech’s hallmark beautiful writing…

Kirkus 

I am beyond delighted to share 5 Qs with Sharon Creech:

Sharon Creech: Thank you!

Q 1.What has publishing a book in a pandemic been like for you, compared to previous “Book Birthday” experiences?   

Sharon Creech: This has been a much more subdued book birth than any before it, that’s for sure. Everything is tamped down, muted. I’m at home, not traveling and meeting students and teachers and booksellers and librarians. I’m not able to do virtual visits or videos because of unreliable internet. I feel in limbo, a sort of suspended animation.  And yet, I’m also grateful for the quiet, the solitude, the ability to stay at home.

ED note:

All the more reason to have

a party, right friends?

Q 2.Which book title best describes your writing process for ONE TIME: 

  • Absolutely Normal Chaos
  • Pleasing the Ghost
  • The Great Unexpected
  • Fishing in the Air

Sharon Creech: The writing process for ONE TIME might best be described as ‘fishing in the air.’ Each day I stepped into the shoes of Gina Filomena and let my mind roam free, catching bits of inspiration floating in the air. Since the book is about imagination, that worked well for me. It also seemed that Miss Lightstone would encourage this sort of fishing in the air, urging the mind to roam free.

Creech’s picture book with Caldecott Honor artist Chris Raschka (Harper Collins/ 2003)

Q. 3. Speaking of Miss Lightstone, which character from ONE TIME is most like you?

  • Gina Filomena
  • Miss Lightstone
  • Antonio
  • Auntie Pasta (I just had to write that name—haha.)

Sharon Creech: I am most like Gina Filomena (especially the younger me) in that I am curious, have a passion for words and cultivating the imagination, and am highly susceptible to smiles. I’m also like Miss Lightstone, I think: eager to give students freedom and time to explore and believing strongly in the riches and uniqueness of each individual.

Who are you?

Q 4. Gina starts the book with: “I wonder about you. Who are you?” What might your answer be to Gina—as well as readers and fans everywhere?

Sharon Creech: I am all my main characters from all my books. I am Gina Filomena and Salamanca Tree Hiddle and Mary Lou Finney, and Dallas and Florida and Sophie and Cody and Annie and Zinny and Jack and Leo and Naomi and Reena and Louie . . . etc. If you smooshed them all together, you would have: me. Really.

Q 5. What was one of the most surprising facts or discoveries you made in writing ONE TIME?

Sharon Creech: One of the most surprising discoveries was that Gina, filtered through me, was incorporating bits and pieces of many of my earlier books. This was not intentional or conscious. In the Clackerties, for instance, I could see bits of Absolutely Normal Chaos, and in Uncle and Auntie Pasta, I heard echoes of Granny Torrelli Makes Soup.

 

In Miss Lightstone I caught glimpses of Miss Stretchberry from Love That Dog; Angel Lucia seemed to be an echo of the angel in The Unfinished Angel; images of the moon and water first arose in Walk Two Moons and The Wanderer; and the exploration of the imagination occurs in different forms in many of my books, including Fishing in the Air and The Great Unexpected.

   As Gina says near the end of ONE TIME, “All those stray pieces and one times float around in me.’ That’s how I feel now, as if this story gathers pieces and one times from all my previous books that float around in me.

[Hmm. If I were still a graduate student, this might make a good thesis to explore!]

I’m so thankful for the pieces and one times you shared with us on the blog today, Sharon.

As a former teacher, I can see so many extensions

and writing connections for ONE TIME. 

To learn more about Sharon’s wonderful books, visit sharoncreech.com and follow her on Twitter @ciaobellacreech, Facebook sharoncreech, and Instagram @creechauthor .

To read about how ONE TIME began, see Mr. Schu’s blog: Watch.Connect.Read. 

AND…shameless plug: To see how these wonderful students helped me celebrate DEAR EARTH’s book birthday check out Mrs. Howard’s students’ blog takeover–part 1!

Coming soon–a preview of Vivian Kirkfield’s upcoming nonfiction picture book,

FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED

THE WAY THE WORLD MOVES. 

New Year’s celebrations and resolutions with Alexandra Alessandri,

and in January, a Book Birthday celebration for

Stacia Deutsch’s Jim Henson biography–releasing early next year.

Meanwhile–Stay safe.

Let’s all savor the one times in our own lives.