By Tara Cavanaugh
Author Hope Vesterglaad has written several children’s books, including “Potty Animals.” She returned to Bach Elementary, which she attended from 2nd to 6th grade, to talk about her books with kindergarteners and first graders.
“If you pay attention to details, and are a good observer, you’ll be a better writer,” she said. To emphasize the point, she donned a “thinking cap,” sunglasses and extra large ears.
She also whipped out an enormous pencil and a magic wand, to show students that writing takes many revisions and that a boring story can always be made better “if you just make something up.”
Vesterglaad, who was once a preschool teacher, found some children’s books to be incredibly dull. She learned that kids like funny books, characters who learn from their mistakes, and books that have beautiful language and great pictures.
The prolific author, who lives with her family on a farm in Dexter, said she gets her ideas for her stories from her kids, the newspaper, and from her many farm animals– two dogs, pigs, cows, horses and ponies– “because they have personality.”
Vesterglaad’s visit was a part of the school’s Reading Month celebrations. She treated the students to a reading of “Potty Animals” and “What Do You Do When a Monster Says Boo?”
She also shared a secret: she has a new book of poems coming out next year, titled “Digger, Dozer, Dumper.”
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