Friday, April 18, 2008

Project Sunshine: Lincoln Hospital

Last week, I had the privilege of visiting the children at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx with Project Sunshine, a non-profit charity that sends volunteers to visit hospitalized children.

Needless to say, whatever I thought I was giving, I got back ten thousand fold. Thanks to my brilliant publisher (Random House) and editor (Anne Schwartz) and publicist (Noreen Marchisi) we were able to give away 70 books to these children. How cool is that?

They are a very brave group of children. What an honor. I got to chat with them in the wards and in the ICU and read to them and laugh with them. We read How To Be A Baby: By Me, The Big Sister and Handbag Friends and we sang The Handbag Song and watched the mini movie.

For more information or to volunteer for this great organization, click here.

I'm part of the Book Club. Here's how they describe it:
"The Project Sunshine Book Club brings distinguished children’s book authors, illustrators and celebrities into pediatric medical facilities to provide special reading events. The Book Club enables children to meet authors and illustrators, to expand their interest in literacy, and to share in the joy of reading by learning how books are created."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

written to be read aloud

"All really good picture books are written to be read five hundred times." Rosemary Wells

"The longer I live, the more I see there's something about reciting rhythmical words aloud — it's almost biological — that comforts and enlivens human beings." — Robert Pinsky (b.1940), poet.

It's odd, but have you noticed that what you hear in your head as you write is completely different from what you hear when you read it out loud? And that even reading something out loud to yourself isn't the same thing as hearing it read to you?

It's something many writers talk about. C S Lewis, for instance, read his books out loud. Here's Fran Lebowitz: "In conversation you can use timing, a look, an inflection. But on the page all you have is commas, dashes, the amount of syllables in a word. When I write, I read everything out loud to get the right rhythm."

Here's another tip: get a friend to read your work out loud to you (you provide snacks and cups of tea to keep their strength up!) that way you can hear where they stumble. And know what to fix.

But, of course, there's the ultimate test for a children's book: read it to some real life actual children. The good news is: they're not very good at pretending when they don't like a story. The bad news is: they're not very good at pretending when they don't like a story.

Monday, April 14, 2008

where AM I?

back to my site?
back to twitter?

back to my super duper blog?
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