Hearts and squares flowed across the screen. Questions bubbled like a fountain from children's and parents' mouths. Michael Hall's bright images, carefully formed text, and thoughtfully constructed responses enchanted all of us in attendance at another intriguing Family Reading Night. As if we were viewing deleted scenes from a movie, he showed the rejected pages (he began with 80!) from My Heart is Like a Zoo. We all giggled at the antics of the beaver in a short film Michael assembled in an effort to create a book trailer for the book. The sneak-peak of his next book delighted the audience with its playful language. And then young and old gathered paper squares, scissors, glue sticks, and paper punches to transform their own squares as Michael did in Perfect Square. It was a perfect evening.
One insightful dad asked Michael what things he would want the children to take away from his presentation. He specifically mentioned how important it is to keep an open mind about what something becomes, instead of being so set on an outcome that the possibilities are missed. That advice went far as the boats, storms, ladybugs, and other creatures filled the pages.