Children’s Books Week School Visits – The things kids say.
One of the thrills of Book Week has been reading Scruffle-Nut to a class for the first time. It’s not released until October 1st so it was a special treat for the children and for me. It’s published by New Frontier Publishing and illustrated beautifully by Owen Swan.
I’m having a busy, but lovely Book Week. So far I’ve been to Sunshine, Geelong and back to Werribee. It’s always fun to get out and meet the kids and teachers in schools and it’s so good to talk to them and share information and read our stories. There are, however, some pitfalls.
Three vital questions, seem to be forever uppermost in the minds of students.
‘How much money do you make?’
‘What type of car do you drive?’
‘How old are you?’
So when my favourite question came up on Monday, the ‘How old are you?’ one, I decided to try a different approach. Instead of my usual come-back which goes something like, ‘I don’t really think that’s relevant to what we are talking about,’ I decided to take a comical approach and reply that I’m 150! I was surrounded by looks of amazement, intrigue and wonder while I moved on quickly to the next topic.
Today’s three presentations were going well, but the big question eventually came from a studious Year 3 or 4 child. It went something like this:
‘Corinne Fenton, I’ve been looking at your website and I also Googled your name and lots of photos came up. How come you look younger in the photos?’
One poor teacher nearly had a fit on the spot, but having done this before, I calmly explained how there are photos everywhere now on the internet of all authors and illustrators. I went on to say that some of my photos were taken when I appeared at book launches, on the TV and for the Myer windows and on those occasions there was time to get my hair done and apply my make-up in a leisurely manner. ‘However, (I continued) although it’s lots of fun, Book Week is a very busy and stressful time for all children’s authors and illustrators and we all look a little tired.’
The student seemed reasonably happy with that.
At today’s final session, the question emerged and once again I used the 150 theory – more looks of amazement.
Then came the very last ‘question’ (statement) for the day from a sweet child who said:
‘Well, Corinne, I think you look really good for 150!’
I’ve got to be happy with that.