It’s almost time for Pencils and Books

August is here, and the first day of school is approaching fast! Some kids get very anxious about heading back to school others are excited to go to class for the first time; so, we asked authors and illustrators for tips to make the transition easy. Here’s what they had to say…

“The best way to get ready for school is to play school! Someone can be Teacher, and friends, family (or pets) can be Students (with pretend names!). Make a “classroom” and decorate it with pictures about What You Did During Your Summer Vacation. Read books out loud together. Do a science experiment. Go to lunch in the “lunchroom” and recess on the “playground.” Have fun playing school!” – Carrie A Pearson

Carrie A. Pearson is a former early elementary teacher and the winner of a SCBWI-Michigan Picture Book Mentorship Award and a Work of Outstanding Promise grant. A Cool Summer Tail, and the companion, A Warm Winter Tail (2013-2014 Great Lakes Great Books Literature Program and a Gelett Burgess Award) follow many of the same animals to describe how they manage the hot summer and cold winter weather. Carrie and her family live in the upper peninsula of Michigan. Visit her website at www.carriepearsonbooks.com.

“The start of a new school year can be a real stresser for kids. One way to help cope is for parents to share some of the things they enjoyed about going back to school when they were young. For instance, I shared with my daughter that I loved the smell of brand-new magic markers, and the feel of my new school shoes, and the cartoon designs on my metal lunch box (yes, I’m old enough to have had a metal lunch box – and a Hong Kong Fuey one at that!) Then I asked my daughter to share some things she is looking forward to for the new school year. Once we had a list of things to look forward to, it helped offset the list of things to be nervous about.” – Brian Rock

Brian Rock (The Deductive Detective), received a master’s degree in Children’s Literature/Creative Writing from Hollins University. Brian’s short stories for children appear regularly in the regional magazine “Kid’s world” and his poems for children have appeared in Highlights for Children, Poetry Train, and various regional publications. His short story, The Frog Dad, was selected as one of the inaugural titles for iPulpFiction’s “Don’t Read This in the Dark” series. For six years Brian worked in the Chesterfield County public school system teaching at-risk students. Visit Brian’s website for more information. 

“For kids going to new schools, if the child (and parent!) touring the school and finding the child’s classroom before the first day eases anxiety.”

“Start a new journal the day before school begins!”

“For my girls, we also have our favorite first day tradition – With backpack on, they wave from the same spot. We love looking at these pictures and are always amazed at how much difference a year makes.” – Jennifer Keats Curtis

Award-winning author Jennifer Keats Curtis has penned numerous stories about animals, including Kali’s Story: An Orphaned Polar Bear Rescue(Children’s Choice Book Award Winner); After A While Crocodile: Alexa’s Diary (NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children) with co-author Dr. Brady Barr of Nat Geo Wild’s Dangerous Encounter; Baby Bear’s Adoption with wildlife biologists at Michigan’s DNR; and Moonlight Crab Count with co-author Dr. Neeti Bathala. The long-time writer’s other recent books include The Lizard Lady, with co-author Dr. Nicole Angeli, Maggie: Alaska’s Last Elephant and the Animal Helpers Series. When not writing, Jennifer can be found among students and teachers, talking about literacy and conservation. Visit her website at www.jenniferkeatscurtis.com.

When your back to school shopping is finished, take a moment to relax and admire the starry sky or watch the International Space Station soaring overhead. To find out when the ISS passes over your town, visit NASA’s Spot the Station website. – Suzanne Slade

Suzanne Slade is the award-winning author of over 80 books for children including The Great Divide, Multiply on the FlyWhat’s the Difference?, What’s New at the Zoo?, and Animals are Sleeping for Arbordale. Her works include picture books, biographies, and many non-fiction titles about animals, sports, and nature. One of her favorite parts of the writing process is researching and learning new things. Suzanne lives near Chicago with her husband Mike, two children, and their tiny dog Corduroy. She enjoys visiting schools in-person or during her live virtual author visits. Visit Suzanne’s Website

Designate a homework spot where your child will always study. Keep work there so it doesn’t get lost. If the spot is by a computer, make sure you (the parent) check in frequently to see the computer is being used ONLY for homework.  – Terri Fields

Terri Fields has written nineteen books which have garnered a number of awards including the Maud Hart Lovelace Award for Middle Grades Fiction, the Georgia Children’s Choice Award, being named to the Recommended Reading List for Chicago Public Schools, the TAYSHAS (Texas) Reading List, the Southwest Books of the Year List, and as one of the 100 Top Kid Picks in Children’s Books in Arizona. In addition to Tornado Tamer, she has written Burro’s Tortillas and The Most Dangerous for Arbordale. A long time desert-dweller, Ms Fields has enjoyed sharing her books with children all over the world. In addition to writing, Ms. Fields is also a educator who has been named Arizona Teacher of the Year, ING Education Innovator for Arizona, and been selected as one of the twenty teachers on the All-USA Teacher Team of the nation’s top educators. Terri Fields has worked with students in first through twelfth grades. Ms. Fields sees the world around her in terms of the wonderful stories it reveals. Visit Terri’s website.

We hope your transition back to school is easy and fun! And, learn more about these author’s books on arbordalepublishing.com!

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