I spent a wonderful morning last week at a local school. But! The first group was 5 and 6 year olds. When I first learned that I’d need to keep this age group entertained for 40 minutes, my first thought was an inarticulate yikes!
Authors of picture books are much better placed with this kind of audience. The visuals of their work keep the kids entertained. I only had two stories I thought might work – one published ages ago in the School Journal about a bad bear, based on a true tale about my great grandfather. I took along a stuffed bear as a visual aid, and that went down all right.
The second story, also true (Stories Aloud CD, Wellington Public Libraries), was about how Chris and I found a stray cat and in the end decided to keep her. While I read this to the 5 and 6 years olds, I had another yikes! Their chins were trembling. Their eyes were brimming with tears. I had to race to the happy ending before any spillage. I just made it.