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Monday, March 7, 2011

Share a Story, Shape a Future 2011: Day 1

Today, March 7, 2011 opened the week long Share a Story, Shape a Future event that brings together blogging librarians, parents, teachers, illustrators, authors, and other literacy passionistas to share ideas and celebrate everything reading has offer our kids.
Last year, I participated in the Share a Story, Shape a Future event by answering the Writing @ Reading prompts throughout the week.  As a result, I gained a better understanding of blogging, gained confidence in my writing, and also won books for my local library for my efforts.  As I look back over the past year, it was this event that got me more excited to read with my kids and to take my Happy Birthday Author blog more seriously.  I am extremely thankful for the experience that I had last year.

Day 1: Power of a Book co-hosted by Donalyn Miller at Book Whisperer and Carol Rasco at Rasco from RIF

There were four questions proposed for today's Writing @ Reading activity.  I chose to answer:

If you could spend the day with three of your favorite story characters who would they be? Would they like each other?

I invited three of my favorite characters from books I have read with my children to spend the afternoon at my house.  I was very pleased that they all accepted. First to arrive was Mr. McGreely from Muncha Muncha Muncha and Tippy Tippy Hide by Candace Fleming.  I wasn't surprised that he was the first to arrive as I mentioned in the invitation that I would love to talk about my gardening plans for the spring and how I could use his expertise in keeping "twitch whiskers" out of my garden.   He must of seen me in the backyard because he came around the back with with his hands in his pockets and said, "Planting a garden, are you? That fence you got there won't keep out those naughty wigglenoses!" I agreed and we talked about possible solutions. Luckily, he didn't suggest building a fortress around my garden because our local building inspector is quite a stickler for the city building codes.

Next to arrive was Harold from Harold and Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson.  He was a little bit late, but I figured he was probably up late taking a walk and overslept.  It was nice to see him and he was actually a little bit taller than I expected.  I mentioned in the invitation that I wouldn't mind if he brought his purple crayon.  I introduced Harold to Mr. McGreely.  Harold shyly nodded while Mr. McGreely cracked a smile.

No words were exchanged between the two because we heard this loud noise coming from above.  I immediately knew it was my third guest, and was somewhat worried if he was going to be able to land in my small backyard.  Within seconds my question was answered and Robot Zot from Robot Zot by Jon Scieszka climbed out his spaceship that did minimal damage to my lawn.  As he emerged he declared, "Robot Zot - Never Fall, Robot Zot - Conquer All."  Without thinking I danced like a little boy and did a little fist pump as I couldn't believe that I was able to hear him say that with my own ears.  As I spun around I noticed that Harold did indeed bring his purple crayon and Mr. McGreely was on all fours fixing the fence around my garden.  I thought to myself, "This is going to be an awesome afternoon."

I had prepared a small picnic lunch.  I thought Harold would really like that.  The lunch was a little awkward but still nice.  Harold didn't have much to say but enjoyed the pie.  Mr. McGreely's mind was spinning with ideas for "puff-tail" proofing my garden as he munched on a banana.  Robot Zot wasn't interested in eating and searched the yard for enemies.

Once we were finished with lunch, Harold helped me clean up.  Mr. McGreely with Robot Zot as his escort gathered materials in my garage to modify the fence around my garden.  Harold and I went back outside after a while, and I called everyone together to thank them for coming over.  I asked them if they had any ideas for an activity we could all do together.  Harold immediately smiled and pulled out his purple crayon and drew three bunnies.  Mr. McGreely immediately became upset with the presence of "infuriating flop-ears." I was trying to tell him that Harold thought it would helpful to see if the bunnies would be able to get into the garden through the modifications he made to my fence.  But, he carried on yelling, "They won't get into your vegetable garden. Not even once."  With McGreely yelling my neighbor opened her door to investigate the commotion which allowed her dog to run out the door.  The dog immediately spooked Robot Zot into battle mode.  Harold felt horrible and tried to fix the problem by drawing a cage full of carrots to capture the bunnies. I thought it might work. But, Robot Zot started firing his ray gun wildly into the air to scare away my neighbor's dog while he escaped to his spaceship and blasted off.  Mr. McGreely dusted himself off after emerging from behind bush that he had dove behind for protection. He thanked me for lunch but insisted that he should be going.  As he walked up the driveway he reassured me that "Only Superbunny could get through that fence of yours now."  I thanked him and waved goodbye.

I stood there next to Harold. I was afraid he was going to draw a bike and quickly leave. I said, "Harold, have you ever tried chalk?" He looked curious.  We headed over to the driveway and started drawing.  The afternoon turned out to be wonderful even after all the excitement.  I got to hear Robot Zot's battle cry, Mr. McGreely fixed my fence, and I got to be a kid again drawing with Harold on the driveway.

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