Booked @ Baldwin

Booked @ Baldwin
Posted on 04/10/2015
The Baldwin School has hosted two author visits this past month. First graders were treated to a visit with Janice Dean, The FOX 25 Weather Machine and author of Froggy the Frogcaster books. Librarian Karin Kugel reports that Baldwin first graders have recently been studying weather, so Ms. Dean’s visit fit well as a curriculum tie-in.

PerlErica Perl recently visited Baldwin fourth and fifth grade students. Ms. Perl shared how she always wanted to be a writer. When she was five, she received a blank book and filled it with stories. When she was 8 years old, she got a poem published in Cricket Magazine. She had to submit writing lots of times before it got published. She told our students if you want to be a writer, you should keep a notebook and write down every idea as soon as you have it - even if you’re not sure it’s good. “You need lots of ideas to play with.” Ms. Perl spoke to students about how she plans out her books and thinks about how she wants the pages to work.

When Ms. Perl was young, there were things about herself that were unique and made her feel different and maybe a little embarrassed. This inspired her to write Dottie and When Life Gives You OJ (one of this year’s MCBA books). She talked about how growing up as one of the only Jewish kids in her Vermont town also helped her to create Zelly and her story. She also shared with us how people in her family inspired characters in her story.

Students were treated to a sneak peak at the galley for her new book Totally Tardy Marty that she is making with Jarrett Krosoczka. The book is in process so she talked with students about the importance of revisions - even if they aren’t very fun to do. She shared a new book about a Capybara that is a novel written in play form. About writing this book, she said, “for me, that’s a good moment when you realize you are having a lot of fun writing something.”

Baldwin students were so excited to share with her the OJs they made 
in the MCBA book club.

Here are some examples of the questions asked by students and 
Ms. Perl’s answers:

Q - What do you do when life gives you lemons?
A - It only gives her OJ.

Q - Do you have a favorite book that you wrote?
A - You can’t choose. It’s like kids. They are all your favorites.

Q - Will you write another OJ book?
A - I want to write a third one.

Q - What kind of a dog is ace?
A - Shepherd-lab-beagle mix.

Q - How long does it take to revise a picture book?
A - A surprisingly long time. Chicken Butt took four years.

Q - How many copies do they make of a new book?
A - Usually at least 5,000.

Q - Do you ever illustrate your own books?
A - Not yet but maybe someday. I really like to draw.

Q - How did you react when you heard that When Life Gives you OJ was going to be an MCBA book?

A - It was so exciting to know that so many kids in Massachusetts were going to be reading my book. There are also a lot of great authors on 
that list so I was honored to be included with them.

Q - What do you do with writer’s block?
A - Go for a run. Don’t force it. Go do something completely different. But then you have to come back later. Time spent in the chair is time 
well spent.

Baldwin students really enjoyed this visit and are excited to read the 
copies of Ace’s Wild that she gave to our library. Thank you for coming, Erica Perl!
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