Months ago, Bubba and I were reading through a bag of books when we came across a couple good ones by Jill Esbaum. I always enjoy reading the back flap of dust jackets to learn more about the author and illustrator, so I was surprised to find that Mrs. Esbaum lives on a farm just minutes from where Bubba and I live!
I ended up going to Mrs. Esbaum’s website to learn more about her, and I was amazed to see how many books she’s had published! There were both fiction and nonfiction, and they all looked interesting! Of course, our little library didn’t have all of them, so I placed a “hold” online and within a week or two, they arrived at our library. Bubba and I got started on them right away, and it wasn’t long before I was thinking, I need to see if she could come to my school and talk to my students!
Next thing you know, I was back on her website to see if she does author visits… and she does! After emailing back and forth a few times, she agreed to come speak to my kids (at a very reasonable price) in early December! For the next month or so, I spent 15-20 minutes each day after lunch reading her books to my class to prepare them for her visit. The kids loved them so much that, not only did we read most of her books, we also looked at her website and found an interview she had given online to learn more about her.
The kids were really excited when the day finally came for her to visit the class (it was the first day in a LONG time that I didn’t have a single student absent)! Mrs. Esbaum told the kids some great “behind-the-scenes” stories about her books, read one of her new books that comes out in January, shared a copy of another book that comes out in May next year, and answered all the questions the kids could think to ask. Not only that, she signed more than 60 books (one for each student in 1st grade at my school – and a few more for Bubba and my niece and nephew) before she left!
Needless to say, my students and I were thrilled to have such a kind and talented author visit us! I’m already thinking about asking her to come back every year to speak to each of my new classes… and you can bet I’ll make sure Bubba’s teachers and classmates get the same experience!
It’s cool to think that it all happened because of this little journey Bubba and I started earlier this year… I wonder what other surprises are in store for us as we continue trying to read every picture book in our library!