Queenie the elephant and Children’s Books Presentations
When I began writing ‘Queenie: One Elephant’s Story’ my foremost wish was to have this beautiful elephant remembered forever and introduced to a new generation of children.
Over the four years since the book was published I have spoken and presented to many, many children in libraries, schools and in bookshops, but there have also been just as many presentations to seniors and many of these met this ‘gentle’ girl and had the privilege of riding on her back. I have lost count of the number of Probus Clubs and other seniors groups I’ve presented to, most times dragging my photos and files, display boards and other paraphernalia with me, because most of these clubs don’t have modern equipment like data projectors and computers.
I used to take along my laptop, if the group was small enough and I thought they could all see the screen, but that all ended the day I discovered two relaxed ladies resting their cups of tea on the front panel of my lap top!!!
I’ve learned to negotiate around the walking frames, canes and sometimes wheelchairs, expect that my cup of tea, which I’ve barely touched, will be whisked away the moment my presentation is over and accepted that by 12.00 noon, on the dot, everyone will rush either home or out for lunch.
On the huge plus side, I am usually provided with an allocated speaker park, complete with witch’s hat, so that my spot isn’t ‘pinched’ and it’s usually not too far from the entrance so that the ferrying process of display boards and books isn’t too onerous. Usually there’s a microphone available so I don’t have to shout too much and I am always greeted warmly by the speaker organiser and welcomed and appreciated by the whole group.
I am still ‘fine tuning’ how to juggle signing my books, being the cashier (which I’m really not very good at) and listening to the Queenie memories which just keep coming from a generation who were lucky enough to meet her.
‘Queenie: One Elephant’s Story’ by Corinne Fenton, Illustrated by Peter Gouldthorpe, Published by Black Dog Books. www.bdb.com.au
Apart from Queenie I also manage to cover all my books and wave my flag for books and reading and children and reiterate that all it takes is a little time and effort to share a book with a child.
Last Friday I presented to a particularly lovely group, The Nunawading Ladies Probus Club and I asked if all those who rode Queenie would mind having their photograph taken with me. Here they are.