Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Great Writer's Conference Experience Part 3

Pat Thomas & Harold Underdown
Pat Thomas

Pat is the author of many wonderful picture books like Firefly Mountain, There are Rocks in My Socks, Said the Ox to the Fox, Red Sled and Stand Back, Said the Elephant. I must have read Stand Back, Said the Elephant 100 times when I taught first grade. I loved it, and so did my students!

She is also an instructor with ICL.

In Pat's workshop, “How NOT to Write a Picture Book in Rhyme” she shared some things that I’ve heard from other presenters and read in writing books. But Pat also shared new insights into the poetry of picture books that I had never heard before.

Pat Thomas & Carol Baldwin
She definitely shared with us her passion for beautiful words and beautiful books.

Pat also said something that I’ve never heard any other author say before – something I’ve said a gazillion times myself – “All great picture books are poetry.” That got me to thinking, "Maybe deep within I AM a poet after all."

Her thoughts on picture books helped me to crystallize my own. I love picture books. I’ve tried over the past few years to verbalize why I love them, why they are my favorite form of literature, I believe. But Saturday, sitting in her workshop it came to me.

I love picture books for two huge reasons.

One, because they blend beautifully three things I love:
  • ·        Compelling illustrations
  • ·        Precise and pleasing language
  • ·        The rhythm and music of poetry

Two, because they facilitate caring, memorable experiences between children and the adults in their lives.

After getting to know Pat I decided that, when I grow up, I want to write just like her!

Thanks a gazillion, Pat!


Linda A. said...

I think it's wonderful that you got to spend quality time visiting and learning from a picture book writer you love.

I have a thought--why not join Pat's world now, not when you grow up? I bet she'd love to have you as a playmate!

Edie Melson said...

Jean, I totally agree! Meeting Pat Thomas was HUGE highlight for me. Thanks too, for putting my thoughts about picture books into words. Blessings, E

Vonda Skelton said...

Hahahaha! I still haven't decided what I'm going to be when I grow up!

But yes, what a joy to meet Pat. She's an amazing writer and a precious person. Made everybody feel right at home with her. Hey, maybe that's what I want to be when I grow up--a great writer who puts everyone at ease. :-)

Thanks, Pat! Thanks, Jean!

Jean said...

Thanks, Vonda!

I think your new-found ambition is amazing. But, I'll let you in on a little secret. I think you're already there.


Jean said...

You are so welcomed, Edie.

We writers are such a strange bunch, aren't we?


Jean said...

I'm trying to join her, Linda. But the "umpires" won't let me in the game yet!

I still have some basic skills to learn, I'm afraid.


Carol Baldwin said...

When I grow up... I love that line, Jean! Thanks for sharing.

Joyce Moyer Hostetter said...

Love the summary of what makes picture books work. And yes, that interaction between adult and child is priceless!

Jean said...

Thanks, Joyce.

ONE DAY I'll see my name on a shiny, colorful picture book jacket I pray!


Jean said...

Thanks, Carol!

My body is definitely a whole lot older than my heart!