On Thursday, October 22nd, Diane Z. Shore (middle name is Zuhone) came to Riverview Library to share her books and humor. She presented three programs, one for Kindergarten through second, one for third and fourth and one for fifth and sixth. Students were able to purchase books from her and she personally autographed every single one. Each student in grades K-6 were given a bookmark designed by Mrs. Strasser that had her picture as well as several of her books on it.
For Kindergarten through second grade, Diane told the students how her first book started out as a poem called School Bus Bop. "But the rhythm kept going on in my head and I kept getting more kids on the bus, so I decided to turn it into a picture book." Comparing herself to the Little Engine that Could, Diane shared her trademark humor, her story of perseverance (and frustration) as well as elation when after 23 rejections on School Bus Bop and 385 rejections in total, she finally sold the story. She was so happy she jumped over the neighbor’s house! (Well it looks like she jumped over the neighbor’s house anyway!) Diane then read an excerpt of the original School Bus Bop and compared it to the published Bus-A-Saurus Bop. Next she shared Create-A-Saurus pictures (Football-A-Saurus, Dust Bunny-A-Saurus, TV-A-Saurus, etc.) that other kids had drawn, and briefly talked about ideas and creativity. (Our first-grade students made Create-A-Saurus pictures in library.)
In Reader’s Theater style the kids acted out Rosa Loves to Read, a Rookie Reader about loud and soft noises. (Kids got to stand and make noises, moving in place and one child was chosen to play the part of Rosa). With Filbert the squirrel puppet, the kids helped Diane Look Both Ways. She also read an excerpt from the French and German versions, which was a HOOT!
For third and fourth grade, Diane told about her loooong journey to publication. It took 9 1/2 years, close to 400 rejections, and a forest of sloppy copies before her first book Bus-A-Saurus Bop, was published. The author started out writing poetry by changing the words of nursery rhymes. "It took three years before my first poem was published." She shares her hidden picture poems, "Show and Tell" and "Deep Pockets" and another poem titled,“Hey Sport!” where kids had to guess which sport the verbs (What's a verb? An action word!) in the poem are describing. She showed the different ways Bus-A-Saurus Bop, originally titled School Bus Bop, changed during the editing phase. (Wait'll you see all the red marks the editor made!) She then read an excerpt of the book.
She talked about the events of the Civil Rights Movement in This is the Dream, and showed how writers "paint pictures with words in This is the Feast, and the “small moment” (write what you know!) that inspired How to Drive Your Sister Crazy. Fifth and sixth readers learned about Diane’s road to publication and were shown many examples of alliteration, hyperbole, internal rhyme, personification, metaphors, similies, onomatopoeia, rhythm/meter, hooks, beginnings, and revisions. Students did an awesome job answering all of her questions. They certainly knew their stuff.
All in all, it was a very educational, humorous and fun program for all students in grades K-6.