Posted by Jonene Ficklin
You know how you want to be a fly on the wall when someone’s reading (or in our case, listening to) your story?
Well, nothing beats the honesty of young children. Everyone knows that. If they’re bored, they don’t politely yawn and pat their mouth and look at their watches. No, they moan, roll their eyes and collapse over something.
On the flip side, when they’re entertained, they laugh, they giggle, they can’t hold still. They actually cheer and do jigs – well ‘jigging’ is a bit old-fashioned – it’s more like munchkin break-dancing. Anyway, it’s exciting when the reason for so much excitement comes from the product of minds and hands you know.
Yesterday, that happened to a friend and I got to be there. It was awesome! A fellow writer and I went into a fourth grade class. My friend has written several children’s books, one of which I’d illustrated. She read her story with a great aplomb, giving each character voices and accents. (Watch out Jim Dale, you have competition.) I held up the illustrations and watched the children’s reactions.
I wish my friend could have seen how they responded to her story (she saw bits, but had to look at the pages she read), because it was delightful.
They laughed, frowned, and gasped in all the right places. I actually saw a jaw drop and hands clapped over a mouth. One boy’s feet started going ninety miles an hour under his desk.
It was true entertainment – at least to me, because I really admire this friend and love to see her story being truly appreciated by her target audience. And I can’t wait to do it again.