Author Reading Expedition
- Questions for the author (see below)
- Scout out an author appearance. Check your local bookstore and library to get a list of scheduled author visits. Also, look up your favorite authors' websites to see if they'll be visiting a school, conference, or library near you.
- Choose your time. Be sure to go when your child is well-rested, well-fed and ready to listen.
- Do your homework. Check out the author's backlist books and read them with your child ahead of time so he's familiar with the author's work.
- Compare the author's books. What do they have in common? How are they different? Does the author write a lot about the same subject? Are they illustrated by the same person or a variety of artists? Does he write in rhyme or in prose? Are the books storybooks? Concept books? Information books? Beginning readers? Chapter books? Or some of each?
- Find out more. Check the author's website to see the author's photograph, read a bio or interview, play a game.
- Make up questions. Brainstorm what questions you and your child would like to ask the author. Write them down and bring them with you.
- Sit up close. Encourage your child to sit close enough to the author to hear the story and to see the pictures.
- Buy an autographed book. Ask the author to sign and personalize a book for your child as a special treat.
- Investigate. Ask your child open-ended questions:
- What is an author's job?
- What does an illustrator do?
- How do you think their work days differ from other workers?
- Where do authors get ideas for their books?
- Do authors change or revise what they write or does it come out perfectly the first time?
- If you wrote a book, what would it be about?
- What illustrator would you choose to do the art?
- Read all about it. Check out Aunt Isabel Tells a Good One by Kate Duke, If You Were a Writer by Joan Lowery Nixon, Show; Don't Tell! by Josephine Nobisso, and What Do Authors Do? by Eileen Chistelow. Older kids might be interested in Artist to Artist: 23 Major Illustrators Talk to Children about Their Art and Pass It Down: Five Picture-Book Families Make their Mark by Leonard S. Marcus.
For more exploring, play Dora's Great Big World game, find do-together Dora crafts, recipes, and activities, and print a personalized Explorer Kit for your child at DoraTheExplorer.com.
Thanks to Susan Hood
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