For several hours last night, I sat next David LaRochelle, giving sticky notes to children who patiently waited in line to have their books signed by him. Many of them were third graders with whom David has worked over the past two months on a writing project. He has worked with third graders at our school for close to 20 years, coming three times each winter to teach the writing process through the creation of an animal story. He even collects all the stories and writes comments on each one! After I introduced each child, David would ask,
"Which animal did you become in your story?"
He then would recall the details and talk about it with the child. Many of the book inscriptions read "from one author to another" and featured a drawing of the child's story animal. Parents' mouths were agape. The children's faces radiated affirmation and joy.
The schedule one-hour book signing went on for more than double that time, probably because eager readers snatched up the copies of HOW MARTHA SAVED HER PARENTS FROM GREEN BEANS (all 44 we received early from the publisher just for this event).