Literacy Milestone: Inventing Connections to Authors and Illustrators
August 01, 2016
I always read the name of the author and/or illustrator aloud to my daughter when we begin a book. If I have some connection to the author or illustrator, I will mention it to her. I've been doing this for years. I think I do it so that she understands that authors and illustrators are real people, and to increase her excitement level about particular books (though the latter tactic is rarely successful - she judges books on the book, not who the author is).
The other night we read Good night, laila tov by Laurel Snyder. This had been a family favorite bedtime book when my daughter was younger, but we hadn't read it in a while. I said: "I know Laurel Snyder - I met her at a conference that I went to, and we are Facebook friends."
Without missing a beat, my daughter pointed to the name of the illustrator, Jui Ishida, and said: "I know the illustrator. This is John's uncle." John is my daughter's imaginary friend. And clearly she didn't know that Jui Ishida was a woman. But I went with it anyway.
When we picked up our first book the next morning, A Tale of Two Beasts by Fiona Roberton, she told me that it had been written by John's mother. When I asked about the dedication, she said that the person named was John's little sister. Then she gave a little grin and added: "I like pretending."
This is admittedly a milestone that is most likely to occur for people active in the children's book community (authors, bloggers, etc.). But I think what this shows is that our kids pick up on and emulate whatever it is we do. If I'm going to share my own connections with children's books authors and illustrators, then my daughter is going to do so, too, even if she has to invent the connections. It made me smile.
© 2016 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook.