Monday, June 25, 2012

Meeting an Author

Last week, Tracy had an author visit as part of her Summer Reading Program.  We went and had such a great time!  I think it may be the first time I've met a children's author and I know it's the first time I've had a chance to talk with one.  Pretty exciting for me.  :)

Sorry for the blurry picture.  I was standing in the back of the room as she was presenting. 

I was blown away by Michelle Neslon-Schmidt.  She is a fantastic artist and brought lots of pictures (portraits?) to her presentation.  The kids loved them!  She is also very inspirational and such an encourager.  This is one smart lady.  She was going to school for physics and math, was doing great, but it wasn't her dream.  She followed that dream and now she is living a "magical" life.  She spoke about how it wasn't easy and she almost give up, but kept going...... she had lots of rejection, but it only took one "yes" to change her life.

She has 2 children's books published (along with some coloring and drawing books).  They are Dogs, Dogs! and Cats, Cats!  Both of these books are great.  I can't wait to use them in my classroom.

 They are fairly short and are written in rhyme.  I think these would be perfect to use with a writing lesson about stretching sentences out and using describing words.  They also have some great vocabulary words (shaggy, stubborn, timid, nosy).  Every child I know can identify with cats and dogs.  Even if they don't have one, they probably know someone who does.  The very last page on each book is a mirror page where they can describe themselves.  I know these are going to be a hit with my kiddos!

"Shaggy dog, shaggy dog, with so much hair. 
Do you really have eyes under there?"
"Timid cat, timid cat, under the bed, 
Won't you come out, even to be fed?"
"Little girl, little boy
reading this book. 

Which dog are you like? 
Take a look!"

The illustrations and lettering are so fun! 

Here's a review from the School Library Journal-
"Text set against plenty of white space, with a few sophisticated words to challenge youngsters, make these good choices for emerging readers. The bright, crisp illustrations are cheerful and attractive and will call out to children who want to look at playful pictures of cats and dogs. These books are also useful as introductions to adjectives, with the art adroitly reinforcing the texts. All in all, these are versatile titles that should find a home in most collections."

WAIT!  There's more!!! Today is the release of her newest book,  Jonathan James and the Whatif Monster.  She read this book during her presentation last week and it adorable.  Briefly, it is about self doubt and fear.  Who doesn't doubt themselves and get scared?  Jonathtan James finally makes peace with the Whatif Monster and turns doubt around.  Stay tuned.....I'll be back with a better review and some more pictures when I can get my hands on the book.


Mrs. Schmidt believes in herself and the Whatif Monster.  She designed the monster and had some made.  (You need to hop on over to her blog and read about it here). Now, from what I understand the publisher is also making a Whatif Monster, but this one is a limited edition author designed and autographed original!  Each of my girls got one and Mrs. Schmidt was so kind as to give me one to share.... so let's have a giveaway!  All you need to do is become a follower and leave a comment.  The drawing will be done Friday night.  Also, you should really should check out her blog here and/ or follow her on Facebook.  Just to give you a tiny taste here's her copyright warning.... "all this is mine, please don't steal. it's not nice and will make your mama sad" that just that cracked me up!

Holding the Whatif Monster

Here's the one you could win

See, he's autographed (she also initialed the tiny tag on his bum!)....
aren't you impressed?  :)  

Soooooo.... become a follower, leave a comment and he could be yours! 

Keep Reading, 


  1. How exciting! We had an author visit our school last year and the kids were walking around all day bragging about it! You would have thought they just met Justin Beiber. We met an author!


  2. What a great giveaway!! This book would be perfect for the beginning of the school year when my kinder babies are still worried about being away from their parents and in a new school.

    Heather (

  3. Oh my gosh that is SO cute!! Just found your blog and became your newest follower :)


  4. I have, and have had, a lot of Whatif monsters in my life. Glad I've conquered some of them. I can't wait to read the book!