Today, we feature an interview with popular Australian author, Debra Tidball, to tell us about KinderFest, a miniature Writers Festival.
Debra is a Sydney-based author and is releasing an exciting new picture book in September called 'The Scared Book', which looks absolutely amazing and lots of fun!
KinderFest entails a selection of three authors or illustrators presenting for children on a participating school's or preschool's property. Children don't need to leave the grounds to experience the delight of interacting with authors and illustrators as they speak, sing and draw. It is an action-packed day involving three thirty-minute rotating sessions and book signing following the presentations. KinderFest is a compelling way to encourage students to read and write.
Why not recommend KinderFest for your school or preschool? To find out more about the KinderFest at: www.greenleafpress.net. Or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope you enjoy this interview with Debra.
Debra, you were one of the authors at a KinderFest visit at the end of last term, how did it work?
At John the Baptist Primary School, Bonnyrigg Heights, 150 students in each of three infants classes rotated between half hour presentations from each of the KinderFest team - Katrina McKelvey, Georgie Donaghey and myself. It was a fun and inspiring day.
What books did you present?
At the time of the visit, only When I See Grandma was available so this is the book that the classes had been studying. I was so gratified by the way the children had embraced it. But I was also able to take along the advance copy of my hot-off-the-press The Scared Book as a special surprise. This meant that I was able to focus on behind-the-scenes fun facts for When I See Grandma then road test The Scared Book - and what fun that was!
What made The Scared Book so much fun to present?
The Scared Book asks children to interact with it to help it not be scared - scratching a tingly spine, rubbing away the goosebumps, and flicking away the monsters. From kindergarten to year two they responded to the book's requests by scratching, rubbing and flicking their hands in the air to alleviate the tingles and goosebumps, and to rid the books of its greatest fear - monsters! It was a hair raising moment when 150 students blew away the monster butterflies!
Aleesah, I have heard you say at a writer’s festival that picture books are to be performed, and The Scared Book is certainly a performance piece! The cool thing is that as well as being scared, the book is also sneaky. While the kids are having so much fun, unbeknown to them, they are also learning about and practicing strategies for dealing with fear.
What else can you tell us about your KinderFest experience?
We got the rock star treatment! And what was so good about that was that the kids got the most out of the time we spent with them. Here's a few things that made the visit great:
A lot of thought had gone into the rooms and the facilities. It was easy to set up and be ready with minimum fuss, and the kids could be comfortable and able to participate fully in the session.
We also had access to a staff area which was a great place to have a cuppa and debrief at the end of the visit, and we even got a 'thank you' box of chocolates each to help keep us awake on the drive home!
It sounds like an amazing day. Would you recommend KinderFest to other schools and venues?
Totally! It is such an interactive, fun way to engage children with books and reading. And they may even learn a thing or two along the way!
Thanks for the information, Debra. We're thrilled that you and the students you spoke to enjoyed KinderFest. These mini festivals for mini people are a new concept developed by Aleesah Darlison and Greenleaf Press and they're proving very popular and successful.
Good luck with your book launch activities!
To celebrate the launch of her new book, Debra is running a competition to win a signed copy of The Scared Book and, for writers, the chance to PITCH and SUBMIT a picture book manuscript direct to publisher Suzanne O'Sullivan at Lothian/Hachette. To find out more, visit Debra's website http://www.debratidball.com/blog
Visit her book blog blitz sites:
Monday to Friday this week she's at Books on Tour with Just Write for Kids
Plus break out blogs with:Tours at the Tales by Creative Kids Tales https://www.creativekidstales.com.au/authors-illustrators/tours-at-the-tales
And curator of Buzz Words, Di Bates’ Writing For Children blog http://diannedibates.blogspot.com.au