School Visit with the Preps on Flame Stands Waiting

Just over 5 years ago, a week or so before my first picture book ‘Queenie One Elephant’s Story’ was about to hit the shelves, my old school friend, also the Librarian at a nearby primary school, suggested I visit her school to deliver my first author presentation to the kids.

My palms were sweaty, my knees shook and I recall being terrified of the Year 6 boys in particular. I ‘survived’ through the younger groups, each one becoming a little easier, then came the Grade 6’s. Two boys I’ll never forget, stood apart from the rest of the class, leaning on the bookcases, their body language screaming out loud and clear – ‘We’re too old for picture books.’

As I told Queenie’s story, little by little those two moved closer and at the end of the session, it was these boys who came up and told me what a wonderful story it was.

So 5 years and I think hundreds of presentations later, yesterday I went back to visit my friend at the same school, this time to read ‘Flame Stands Waiting’ to three classes of brand new preps.

I read the story to wide-eyed 5 year olds and showed them my power-point photo collection of carousels from all over the world. Then to the beautiful strains of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ‘Carousel’ they followed me up and down, round and round in a  circle pretending they were a carousel horse called Flame. Apart from anything else, it’s wonderful exercise and the preps were a delight.

Although I had some photos of the children and me in action, facing away from the camera, I’ve decided not to post it as a few little faces turned towards the camera and I don’t have permission to use their photos. Instead, I’ve included a photo of me with ‘Flame Stands Waiting’ and the horse I call Flame.

Me at Luna Park, Melbourne with 'Flame Stands Waiting'


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