I had so much fun at North Beverly Elementary this past Thursday as the Featured Author of the 2019 Reading Festival. The North Beverly Stars couldn’t have been more receptive and attentive. Mrs. Walsh, the reading specialist in the K-4 school, (yes, we might be related somehow) had prepared three weeks of activities for all the grade levels.
Before I arrived, the children were given Trivia hints- quotes from the stories the kids hadn’t yet read- and had to guess which book title from the eight Nissa the Woodland Fairy Book Covers Mrs. Walsh posted on the wall outside her room went with each quote. They did a fabulous job guessing.
Also, Mrs. Walsh held a sort of scavenger hunt in each of the 17 classrooms. With hints given from the teachers, the children had to hunt down pictures of Nissa, Darla, and the three Pixies. Once they posted the pictures on their doors, each class received a Nissa the Woodland Fairy Book.
In the upcoming two weeks, each of the classrooms will receive another Nissa the Woodland Fairy book, involve themselves with pages from Nissa’s *Mom and Me*Activity Book, and, also write and illustrate a story to create their very own classroom Sketch and Story Journal Adventure.
On the day I arrived, the children all knew my name and were so excited to meet me. I felt like a celebrity! I read A Little Help, Helps A Lot to each grade level in the gym and then Mr. Jones, the gym teacher, organized teamwork games emphasizing cooperation and communication like the ants in the book.
At the end the allotted time, each group sat for the Q and A. This is where I was star struck. The kids asked such intelligent questions, some even stumped me. From Kindergarten to Fourth grade they were interested in the writing process, the illustrator, and the fairy world. I was asked where I like to write, why I like to write, and when did I start writing. One sweet little girl asked me why Nissa spoke in rhyme. I had no answer for her. I looked around stumped. So, I replied, “She just came out that way.” And that my friend sums up the creative process.
I returned in the evening for the kids Scholastic Book fair and an ice cream party. I sat on the steps to the stage in the cafeteria, read Nissa’s adventure Too Many Talents to a large group of very engrossed children, and held an Q and A about their talents which included piano, sports, double-jointed elbows, and even math!
The art teacher, Mrs. Ayers, created a back drop for our photo booth. The kids, with the help of fairy wings, wands, head wreaths and or fur capes and slingshots, dressed as fairies and posed with Nissa and Darla in their mushroom garden.
The children were wonderful, the staff was great, and the parents that night were so supportive. North Beverly Stars should be extremely proud of their school. I know I am very happy to be part of their family.