Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Learning from Princesses

My class was SO excited to have a guest author come speak to us last week!!
Marc Clark is the author of The Princess Fables, "... a collection of eleven inspirational stories for young girls who still dream of being a princess and young boys who dream of adventure. Each of the stories focus on a different princess that embarks on an adventure of self-discovery and along the way, learns the importance of trust, devotion, courage and the power of love."
Each story is illustrated with black & white sketches; they are detailed, beautiful and capture the fantasy element of each princess.
We've been writing narratives in class and discussing the importance of imagery and "language jewels", words or phrases that are so descriptive that they make the reader feel or picture being in the story.  I read one of the fables to my class before Marc arrived and they were mesmerized by the story (even my boys were eagerly listening; I was afraid they would scoff at princesses). They wanted to add several lines to our Language Jewels Chest on our wall (where we gather bits of writing to save and use as models): "The news hit Marina as if someone had punched her in the stomach. She had never before felt such pain. All of the air was ripped out of her at once and everything started to spin." Not only are the stories adventurous, there's humor to them, as well. And I especially love the moral aspect to these fables; there are no princesses waiting for her prince to come and live happily ever after!! My kids had some pretty deep discussions about the possible lessons to be learned from the various fables.

We had a very informative Q & A session, as students asked about Marc's writing process. They had written index cards with questions beforehand. Some kids asked about where he got his ideas, others asked about his revision process (yay!!). I was THRILLED when he told students he wrote, let his writing sit for a day or two, then reread it, revised it, let it sit, revised it again & again & again!! ("See, kids, even published authors do not write a story then say they're done!!") I've noticed my students taking MUCH more care and time in their revisions this week!!

Marc was happy to sign books that students had purchased (optional, of course) and I loved seeing the look of delight on my students' faces!! Since his visit, my kids have been carrying their book all around school (& reading), even at recess!!
His upcoming book, The Royal Fables, was inspired by the children at Texas Children’s Cancer Center for brain cancer research. All of the profits from the sale of the book are going back to the Texas Children's Cancer Research. My class was especially excited to learn there are stories about princes, as well! Visit Marc Clark's  website to read a complementary story!!
WINNER, Best Children's Book, The Beach Book Festival 2014
SILVER MEDAL for Children's Book Illustrations & BRONZE for Children's Literature, Global Ebook Awards 2014
HONORABLE MENTIONS from the 2014 Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Hollywood and San Francisco Book Festivals

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