Today was our first field trip! We started off this morning by going down memory lane with children’s books. Madeline had the covers of many different children’s books printed out on separate pieces of paper. We all sat in a circle, passed the covers around, and wrote some of our thoughts and feelings about the books on the back of the covers. At the end of the day, the covers and comments were hung up in the camp room. It was really interesting to see everyone’s opinions and memories!
After the book activity, we headed to the New York Public Library to see the exhibit “The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter.” There were many different sections in the exhibit, and a ton of books were featured! We saw the original Winnie the Pooh stuffed animals, a life size version of the room in Goodnight Moon, and even played some Mad Libs. One of the most interesting rooms was filled with a big stack of books that had been banned at some point. We were shocked by some of the books we saw in this pile!
We ate lunch in Bryant Park and then came back to Symphony Space to meet Jordan Sonnenblick, author of Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie. He spoke to us about his inspiration for the book and how he draws from his own experiences, the experiences of others and from his imagination to write his books. Jordan also told us about how he started practicing his storytelling when he went to camp, and believes that it helps him to be a better author.
After our discussion, Jordan had us practice writing in a different voice, using his voice as an example. We all read a short excerpt of his work and then tried to mimic his style in a writing exercise of our own. Jordan told us that if we practice writing in many different voices, eventually we will find what works best for us. Many of us shared our writing, and then we got our books signed and had a group picture taken. The day was over before we knew it!