Just before the pandemic hit, the Eric Carle Museum asked me if they could include in their quarterly newsletter my story, my blog post, about visiting the museum and hearing author Kate DiCamillo speak.
Yes! Of course, yes!
They enjoy reading my blog posts about my visits to the museum. Well, how can I not write about a visit? Every one is remarkable. When I heard Kate DiCamillo speak, the blog post flowed. She is one of my favorite authors- for many reasons.
Little did I know that my inclusion in the newsletter would be a full page. What an honor! Thank you Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art! Their write-up was terrific.
The museum is opening this week for members only (I snagged my reservation right away) before it opens in August for the public. Yes, the protocol procedures will be strictly enforced. I will have two (wonderful) hours to visit.
Kate DiCamillo has published a new book in her Tales From Deckawoo Drive series. It is phenomenal. Before I tell you about this book, I need to give you some background. ‘Kate 101’. She was a struggling writer, like many of us, and was ready to quit at rejection letter #473, after five-and-a-half years. Few if any writers have had that many rejections or as much persistence. She hung in there a bit longer, and then got a hit. Not only that, the book won the Newbery Medal. For those of you not familiar with children’s books, the award is the Holy Grail.
The book was Because of Winn-Dixie. Yes, many of you know that book.
She continued to write more winners, like The Tale of Despereaux. My favorite is The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. Next, she wrote books for the very young, a series titled ‘Mercy Watson’. Mercy is a pig who… well, you have to read the books. The characters in this series became popular ‘household names’, and she wrote a series of books for slightly older readers titled ‘Tales From Deckawoo Drive’, based on these characters. Her new book is about one of those characters, Stella.
Kate then wrote a book for older readers, Raymie Nightingale. I was glued to the book. There are three characters, and the other two now have their own book.
My point? Kate DiCamillo can write at many different age levels. That is an enormous task few writers can do. I am amazed and ever-inspired. Her new book is Stella Endicott and the Anything-Is-Possible Poem, in the Deckawoo Drive series.
Stella adores her new teacher Miss Liliana, yet dislikes the brainy know-it-all and irritating classmate, Horace Broom. When I read the words Stella’s teacher said, “Class, I want you to know that I believe in listening closely and speaking softly and singing loudly. I also believe in examining mysteries.”- I was hooked. Courage and curiosity are Stella’s mantra as she and Horace are on the way to the principal’s office. Horace has much to learn, even though he knows most everything about the planets. When he showed Stella the planet Venus through his telescope, she said, “It’s beautiful and bright. It’s a heart humming in the night.”
Kate DiCamillio’s character development is subtle, humorous, and well-crafted, leaving the reader with a smile, and feeling as if a good lesson was woven into a great story. This newest book does not disappoint. I highly recommend the Deckawoo Drive series.
“If you are going to get anywhere in life you have to read a lot of books.”
Great to see you get such a big feature, and I know you will love your special 2-hour visit to the museum too. 🙂
Best wishes, Pete.
I was quite surprised. I’ll most likely post about the museum visit. Very exciting! Best to you, Pete.
How exciting, Jennie – all of it – the museum article, the museum visit and Kate’s new book. How absolutely wonderful!
Thank you, Norah. I feel the same way. 😊
I guessed that. 😊💖
how wonderful and all of this is perfect, they found the perfect person for this
That’s so nice, Beth. Thank you!
They made a great choice, Jennie. Enjoy your visit. I think we will all return to museums with a much greater appreciation of what they mean to us.
Thank you, Dan! I absolutely agree that we will have a greater appreciation for museums.
Wonderful, Jennie! ❤
Thank you, Bette! 😍
There’s always hope – I just got another rejection slip today!
I doubt yours is #473. Yes, there is hope!!
That is amazing. Bravo for you Jennie.
Well deserved kudos!
Thank you, Pam!
I LOVE the illustration on the new book. I’d want to buy it for that. Since I have no little children;( I’ll have to wait a while to see if it comes to the bookstore and browse a bit. No museums are open here yet. I’m so happy for you getting mentioned and your blog mentioned in an article. Thanks for sharing this author with us. Hugs.
The illustrator does a perfect job for every character in the series. You will laugh! I hope you get to see the book. Tomorrow is the big day to visit the museum. Hooray! In August I will visit the Bennington Museum in VT and see their Grandma Moses collection. I want to do a unit on her with the children when school starts. They will help me and also do a virtual field trip. Cool, huh? Best to you, Marlene.
Seeing the Grandma Moses collection is really cool. Doing a virtual field trip with the kids is a great idea! Lots if hugs from lockdown central. 😉
I think it will be really cool, too. Hugs to you, Marlene. Stay well at lockdown central. 😀
Jennie, this is wonderful! Congratulations!
Thank you, Charles!
Reblogged this on charles french words reading and writing and commented:
Here is another wonderful post from the excellent teacher, Jennie!
Thank you so much, Charles!
Excellent! Such a classy article, too! Seriously, wish this sort of content (including but not limited to authors/musicians/artists/scientists/etc were more widely ‘broadcast’ to the general public.
And I’m thrilled you get to go visit – yippee – an outing for teacher!
They really did a nice write up. Thank you, Laura. I’m on my way to the museum now. 😀
Amazing! Have fun!
Absolutely fabulous, Jennie!
Thanks, Ritu! 😍
Kate is a great example of perseverance! Just think had she given up, we wouldn’t have all these great books.
I think of that all the time!
SWEET! But I was kind of hoping the museum would be shaped like a giant caterpillar…
Haha! That would be fun!
Congratulations on your feature in the newsletter! (I love your fangirl smile as you get your book signed.) Here’s to a safe and successful reopening of the museum that brings such joy to children and adults alike!
It really is a fan girl smile, isn’t it? Thank you, Liz. Yes, here’s to museum openings, particularly ones that bring joy to children.
What a wonderful surprise, Jennie:)). And congratulations on getting such a writeup. I hope you thoroughly enjoy your upcoming visit to the Museum, it sounds like a wonderful place. I loved reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar to my children and grandchildren – and I’m looking forward to reading it the littlest one, too!
I was quite surprised, Sarah! When I visited the museum today, they had extra copies of the newsletter for me, and even wanted to take my picture. Gee! I was hoping they would have Very Hungry Caterpillar face masks, but no. That would have been such fun. I know you will relish reading the book to your littlest grandchild.
I am SO looking forward to it!!
What a great honor, Jennie! Being associated with such an outstanding author has to feel special. Of course, I’m familiar with Because of Winn-Dixie and Tales of Despereaux as I read them to my students. I have not read any of her books for younger kids. As you say, many authors are not adept at writing for different ages.
Her personal story with letters of rejection is what many aspiring authors need to hear. You have to have talent, but there is a certain degree of being in the right place at the right time.
It was certainly an honor, Pete. I’m on my way back home from the museum, they had extra copies of the newsletter for me. So nice!
I’ve often thought about you reading her books aloud to your students. What a treat for you! If you happen to see this book at the library, check it out to read.
I want to get refrigerator magnet numbers 473, so I can see them every day.
How lovely that you had a write up in the museum’s newsletter, Jennie. The books by Kate sound lovely. She is very determined to have kept going in the face of all that rejection.
It was quite an honor, Robbie. Thank you. Her books are wonderful, and at many different levels. The boys will love The Tale of Despereaux, and you will love The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (your love of dolls.) I have memorized the number of rejection letters she got- quite inspiring.
How wonderful! This is well-deserved Jennie. The first grocery store I shopped in after moving to AL was a Winn Dixie, Because…😏😉
Thank you, Kim. If I moved south, I’d definitely shop in a Winn Dixie, Because! 🙂
Fabulous Jennie and what a wonderful feature.. and being a fan of your museum posts as well as your others I can understand why they asked you. Wonderful background to Kate DiCamillo and have pressed for Tuesday..Have a lovely weekend.. hugsx
Thanks so much, Sally. You are ever-kind. 😘
Sorry have not been over more Jennie, getting some features organised.. hugsx
Don’t apologies, Sally. How many times have I been behind? Way too many! Hugs! 😍
What a wonderful posting, Jennie! You got the paradies, this meeting. Sounds a wonderful read for children too. Thank you for sharing the information. Michael
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Michael. Many thanks!
:-)) Your postings are all very motivating. Thank you!
That is so nice, Michael. Thank you. 😊
Congratulations on your story getting put into the newsletter, such fun! I adore Kate DiCamillo and read Because of Winn-Dixie to my class every year. My family also sa The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane in play form, which was amazing.
I hope you enjoy your time at the museum, as I am sure you will.
I would love to read aloud her books to elementary children! Thank you, shoes. It was quite an honor. I went to the museum and had a fabulous visit. It will be my next blog post!
Brava my friend! You most certainly deserve your moment in the spotlght! ❤
That’s so nice… thank you, Debby. 🥰
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Thank you, Sally!
Jennie..how lovely and so well deserved..enjoy your visit… Hugs x
Thank you, Carol. Super visit, and blog post tomorrow. 🙂
Looking forward to reading it, Jennie 😊