I thoroughly enjoyed being the “Mystery Reader” for a 4th grade Class at Churchville Elementary School. The students didn’t know who I was until I was announced, and were delighted to find out that I was the mother of their teacher!
My daughter, Kerry Gallagher, has been teaching for over 20 years and is the co-author of most of my published and performed plays for elementary school students!
I usually read for K-3rd graders, so it was fun to read for an older group. I chose My Fingerpaint Masterpiece, with its emphasis on “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” approach…
The book deals with perspective, perception and self-esteem, as a child fingerpaints artwork in class and later discovers the painting as a part of the town’s Art Contest. The story is told from the point of view of the child, (who can be either a boy or girl depending on the reader’s determination, since all illustrations are of what the child sees.) After reading, I usually ask a class to vote on whether the main character was a boy or girl. It’s usually a 50/50 split. This class voted that they thought the main character was a girl – interesting since when I wrote it, I had always thought it was a boy!
At any rate, My Fingerpaint Masterpiece has won 9 awards, including the Gold Medal in the Readers Favorite awards as well as winning their illustration award as well! All of my book’s illustrations are by Kalpart!
It was fun answering questions from an older class, and at the end of the reading I shared my calling cards with the class. One child asked me to sign my card, so the entire class formed a line…I now have lots of kids with “signed calling cards”!
(My husband for over 59 years travels with me to book readings and signings, and I was delighted to get a photo of the two of us together…) The students took a vote about which additional book to read, and Peter and the Whimper-Whineys won!
(None of the students whine anymore…)