Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Slice of Life - Life Lessons from Visiting with Author Eric Litwin

Starting our school day with Eric Litwin a couple of weeks ago was absolutely the best!  We were laughing, singing, moving, and enjoying literacy.  I really enjoyed hearing Eric share his story.  He is a former teacher.  He then chuckled and called himself a recovering teacher.  He found as a teacher he needed books with more movement, call and response, repetition, and music.  He shared he left the classroom for books.  His intention when he left teaching was to help children learn how to read.  He's done just that and plans to continue doing this important work with active literacy.

Eric shared stories about his journey.  Part of his journey was creating the first four Pete the Cat stories which were a huge success and launched his book writing career.  He also pointed out books in a series can have more than one author as Pete the Cat does.  What a great angle to share when two people decide to stop working together, very respectful and simple.  I hadn't thought about series having more than one author as an explanation but they can.

The highlight of my day was being a page turner for Eric as he performed Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons, which is one of my favorites.  Watching our primary grade students sing and enjoy Eric's work with him reminded me how important it is for students to connect with authors and those working on writing.

We were able to hear his new project but were asked to not speak of it, take photos or do any video recordings.  To honor his wishes I can't tell you any particulars but can share it sounds like a lot of fun for students and families to enjoy.

It should be out this fall.  My students really enjoy his new book, The Nuts; Bedtime at the Nut House.  I initially thought the concept of nuts not wanting to go to bed was too simple for my second graders.  I was quickly proved wrong as my students made connections and wrote their own tales of avoiding bedtime.  Which are honest and quite adorable to read for enjoyment.


In just 45 minutes I was reminded of a few life lessons.  You can change your path in life and follow your dream.  Those dreams can come true.  Details don't have to be shared when plans change and being positive about those changes is nice.  Sharing secrets with lots of people takes bravery and being one of those people receiving a secret feels like a gift and requires respect.

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for fostering this writing community.

9 comments :

  1. That would be such an awesome author visit! I will always remember the first time I heard a Pete the Cat book read aloud (at CMOM). What a fun intro that was.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This character is truly fun and Eric's voice with inflection and tone is really what makes the story so successful. I found myself thinking a bit about Pete the Cat with the new projects but it's not Pete, it's Eric!

      Delete
  2. Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm always excited by an author visit. It's a wonderful opportunity for students to meet the rock star authors they admire. Looking forward to his new projects.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Some wonderful lessons shared, Mandy. What a great day for all!

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a fun experience for you and the lucky students! Now I am just burning with wonder about the new project. Grrr!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I seriously put down my pen and paper when he requested we not share his new project. I can share it's a new character that is fun loving and full of life.

      Delete
  5. I am so happy you got to be part of this wonderful event. What a terrific opportunity for you and for the kids. Can't wait to see you at Dublin Lit.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Love how grown ups learn important lessons from children's picture books. See you Saturday!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sounds like an amazing experience! My daughters love Pete the Cat. I really appreciated your reflections on his visit - you gleaned some important life lessons from his talk. Very cool, thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete