Each year, Amber’s school has an author come visit to talk about their books and about being a writer. They do assemblies for each of the elementary schools in the district and then have an evening program for the kids, parents, and friends. This year the guest authors were Dan and Judith Greenburg and we headed over to school last night to hear their presentation and have some refreshments. No photos, because Amber wouldn’t let me. Sorry.
Dan Greenburg is the author of The Zack Files (the main character is loosely based on his son), and he discussed how he came to write children’s book. It sounded like a long path, from being in art school, to selling pieces to Esquire, to working in an advertising company. Eventually, he decided that writing is what he loved and he could actually make a career of it. I guess during his talk at the assembly earlier that day, he had also told the kids that he keeps a “writer’s journal” with him all the time, to write down his ideas no matter where he is. He was also kind enough to sign Amber’s copy of My Teacher Ate My Homework.
Judith Greenburg is his wife, but she is also the author of the Andrew Lost series, which is for slightly younger readers. Her talk was really fascinating and when she described herself as a young girl she reminded me a lot of Amber. She told a story about digging in the back yard for fossils and about her love of bugs and carnivorous plants. She eventually became an editor for scientific textbooks and learned a lot about biology and other sciences, which is the basis for her series. She talked about different kinds of animals, from sea slugs, to cockroaches, animals I could live without but are really attractive to kids, for some reason. She also encouraged kids and adults to always ask questions, not to worry about sounding stupid. She reminded us that there is always new stuff to learn and that people love to talk about things they’re interested in.
It was a really nice evening. It’s a shame that due to budget cuts this will probably be the last author visit for a while.