Hello everyone,
Today is Children’s Day in India, in honor of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s birthday, who loved children and is considered the country’s special child for having been the first Prime Minister, after India’s long struggle for Independence. As coincidence would have it, we visit the blog of Mitali Perkins, who was born in India. Mitali is the award-winning author of several children’s and YA titles, including Monsoon Summer, Rickshaw Girl, and the forthcoming Secret Keeper and the Bamboo People, and she likes to write about life between cultures. Join us on Mitali’s Fire Escape for her review, and the debut of Amadi’s Snowman trailer !  Enjoy, and come back, as we’re then going to… 
… Michigan, USA. After Nigeria, India and Haiti, we find Amadi visiting Cathy Lee’s second grade class, at Poupard Elementary, in Harper Woods.
We had a few questions for the children there. Please, find their answers below.
What is the first book you remember reading on your own?

The first book I read was The Foot Book (by Dr. Seuss). The reason I read it is because I thought that The Foot Book was the easiest for me to read. I love that book. 


When I read my first book I felt happy and excited. It was in my kindergarten class. It is called ABCs by Dr. Seuss. 


My first book was Henry and Mudge (by Cynthia Rylant). It was a good book to read. I couldn’t believe it! It is special to me. 


The first book I learned to read was Lunch. I learned to read it because it had words like I and had and lunch. It said, I had milk, I had an apple, I had a banana, and I had chocolate milk. It had lots of stuff to eat. I liked it. 


I read Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat Comes Back. The cat does funny stuff. There’s a goldfish and a boy and a girl and the cat in the hat! The cat lifts the goldfish and Thing One and Thing Two mess up the house! 


I remember reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? It is really easy to read. I liked the part when it talked about the horse! 


Do you remember the first time you realized you could read the words around you?Describe what happened and how you felt.

The first words I starting reading were Stop and I-HOP an McDonalds and all sorts of other words. And reading is just like talking, but when you read books you learn something. G. 

I was three and I read all the stop signs and I felt happy! And I knew that when I saw KFC it was Kentucky Fried Chicken. But my brothers called it Chicken Fried Chicken! 


I felt happy when I could read the words. 


Some children like Amadi don’t know how to read. What do you think about that?

I think that it is not fair that some people cannot read books like others can, because reading is really fun. 


I think it is sad and does not make any sense. People should know how to read very well. They should be able to read about a princess and about pizza. I hope that you will read. 


I think I will help them learn to read because books are fun to read. 


What books have you loved so much that you read them again and again?

I love to read Please, Baby Please. It is a great book. It’s about a girl who does not like to do anything. She is disobedient and weird. 


I like Henry and Mudge and the Wild Wind because it is a great book. 


My favorite book? I would say it could be Oh Yuck! That’s a good title for it because it is gross!  But only one is not gross and that is the snakes. They are so cool. I don’t even know how cool they are. 


I read Captain Underpants. I like his wedgie powers. I read 45 chapters. I like the one when he destroys the talking toilets and when he defeated the bigger boy. 


Captain Underpants was my first book to read (this year)  and The Three Mice was my second book. Pyramids was my third book and Walter was my fourth book to read. 


What books would you recommend that Amadi read once he learns to read. Why do you think he would like them?

I think that Amadi would like Junie B. Jones books because they are funny. Junie B. thought she had a monster under her bed. 


I think Amadi would like to read a book that would show how to make a snowman because he saw a friend reading a book with a snowman. I think he would like it. 


Thank you to the children at Poupard Elementary for their wonderful responses. We will return there tomorrow, so we can share the pictures that Amadi’s Snowman inspired them to draw.


“Books are lighthouses erected in the great sea of time.” Edwin P. Whipple


Tomorrow, I visit Kelly Starling Lyons’s blog Kuumba for a conversation about the need for diversity in books for children, and our passionate commitment, as writers, to contributing to that cause. We’ll also discover the drawings from the Poupard Elementary school children. See you then…


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