Papas & Pajamas is an event where elementary students come to school at night in their pajamas to listen to stories read aloud by volunteers. I had the great privilege of being an author/illustrator presenter last night at the very school I went to as a kid! The students had 5 different stations to attend so I presented to 5 groups of 5-13 kids. The classroom was decorated with Coco Wants a Burger stuff including a big handmade drawing of the cover and giant burger drawings hanging from the ceiling. After reading my book, Coco Wants a Burger, we drew a Lumpkin together on an easel. Each kid made their own Lumpkin, named it, and chose it’s favorite thing. They drew that favorite thing on the Lumpkin’s belly and it’s balloon. My favorite kid’s Lumpkin held a bowl of “exotic butters” I mistook as french fries at first glance. This is just one of the many creative and wonderful characters created!
My heart feels so full when kids enjoy my book. You should have seen how one girl grabbed for The Milkshake Heist dummy book when I asked if she would like to see the follow-up to Coco Wants a Burger. I am learning so much about what works in my books and what doesn’t. Just by reading aloud, I can get a sense of what works best for kids. I loved it when one kid shouted out, “Why doesn’t he just EAT IT?!” after Coco makes a mock-up burger in the story. Her Dad covered her mouth with his hand but let’s face it, she had a good point.
It was validating and encouraging to have some of the dads thank me for reading and wish me the best moving forward. THE KIDS are truly the reason I do what I do. I wish I had pictures of all the kids’ faces that I have read to. I would put them above my drawing table to help remind me that I write to entertain, inspire, and brighten the lives of children.
I left with my heart feeling full but also hungry for burgers. Naturally, I remedied this by taking my boyfriend out for B-Bops burgers and fries. What a great night!
If you have a group of kids that would like to hear me read aloud please email me. I would love to visit their school and read Coco Wants a Burger!