March 30, 2022

The Reader Engagement Part of the Writing Life

Back in February, I had the pleasure of participating in World Read Aloud Day, aka, WRAD. As I've said before, one of my favorite parts of author life is connecting directly with young readers. 

One of the most fantastic things about connecting with young readers is sometimes they send written cards, letters, and pictures. Given the digital nature of book events these days, for the first time ever I received digital postcards from a classroom of readers I visited from a school in Japan. Here are some examples:

Artwork from Ms. Venn's Second Grade Class

Whenever students write to me after an author visit, I do my best to write back to them, and WRAD is no exception. Here is the letter I recently wrote to the students in Ms. Venn's second grade class at John O. Arnn Elementary School in Camp Zama, Japan:


Dear Ms. Venn’s Class, 

Thank you for taking the time to write and illustrate beautiful digital postcards for me to enjoy. 

Each of you, including Ayce, Bobby, Kathryn, (and one additional student who did not sign their name :) thanked me for reading Lucy’s Blooms to you. You are very welcome. I’m so glad you enjoyed the story. In case you’d like to read the story again, many of my books, including Lucy’s Blooms, should be available at your local library. And, if you’d like to watch a video of me reading Lucy’s Blooms (maybe with your family at home), you can find it here.

Some of you had additional questions.  My responses are below: 

Zoey: You asked what inspired me to write books, and what made me like being an author and love writing? One reason is I like words. They are powerful. They get things done. They help people understand one another. Words give people a voice. I like when my voice is heard. I have written an entire blog post with some of the other reasons I like to write. You can find it here.

Addison: You asked how many books I have made. I have written 20 stories that have been published into books. You can learn about all of my different books here. You also asked how many books I have read to people. I haven’t kept count of that—I’ll have to start doing that! (You also shared a cute picture of a cat! I showed the picture to Pickle the Cat! Pickle says, “Meow!”)

Kalib: You asked if I enjoy reading to students. I do! It’s one of my favorite parts of being an author. You also shared a picture of a rainbow baby turtle. I hope you will write a story about that some day! 

Alek: You asked how to publish a book. There are a lot of steps in that process. It all begins with writing (and/or illustrating) a story, and then revising it until it is exactly how you want it to be. Then, you research publishers that might like your story. You send your story to publishers until you find one that likes your story enough to turn it into a book. One of my author-friends, Josh Funk, has a great website with information about how to write picture books. You might enjoy reading what he has to share. You can find it here.

Aurora: You asked what was the first book I ever made. The first book I ever made was a poetry book that I hand-wrote as a Mother’s Day gift for my mom back when I was in middle school. You also asked why I became an author. I became an author because I had stories and important ideas in my head that I wanted to share with other people. You asked what year my books came out. The first book I had published, See the Colors, came out in 2009. The most recent book I had published was Lucy’s Blooms, which came out in 2021. I also had two humorous books that were published in 2019: Where Does a Pirate Go Potty? and Where Does a Cowgirl Go Potty? You should be able to find all (or most) of my books in your local library. If you can’t find my books in your library, you can find videos of me reading them (and songs to go along with my most recent books) on the internet, here. You also asked if I ever write fairy tale books. I haven’t yet, but I have a friend who does. Lastly, you asked why I like books. I like books for many different reasons, but one reason is because reading books is one of the best ways to become a better writer. I have also written some blog posts about why I like reading. You can read about that here and here.

Eliana: You asked what is my favorite flower? I like LOTS of different kinds of flowers. I of course like dandelions, and I also especially like tulips, daffodils and nasturtiums. You can find an article I wrote that includes a photograph of some of the nasturtiums in my yard and some stories about my favorite gardening memories with my own Gram on my publisher’s website.

Holden: You asked why I like the weed. I like it because it is cheerful and beautiful and makes me smile. I wrote more about this in a blog post, here.

Thank you again for all of your notes and pictures, and thank you to Ms. Carter for inviting me to visit your school.  I hope I get to visit your school again in the future. In the meantime, if you’d like to read more about my life as a writer, you can visit this section of my blog where I talk about my writing life.

Write On!


Dawn Babb Prochovnic (and Pickle) 


If you missed World Read Aloud Day, but would still like to connect, I offer Virtual Author Visits year round anywhere in the world. I've also compiled a comprehensive collection of free remote resources for Self-Guided Virtual Author Visits here. It's not quite the same as a personalized virtual visit (or an in-person visit), but these resources do allow young readers to connect with an author in some fashion. And here's a fun fact: I also write back to classrooms of students who visit me virtually via a Self-Guided Virtual Author visit. 

Write On!  

No comments:

Post a Comment