Aidan and I recently visited his old Preschool, St. Columba’s, in Washington, DC’s Tenleytown neighborhood. Two of his former teachers asked if we would visit The Explorer class and read The Pepperoni Palm Tree and answer questions and lead a discussion at “circle time.” We stayed for nearly an hour and a half, reading and talking with the children. Many of the kids asked Aidan to come play with them on the playground, and despite being 10, he was more than happy to oblige.
Yesterday, we received a letter from Mrs. Bradley who was kind enough to invite us. The kids had a discussion after we left about the book’s lessons. They learned a lot. Enjoy the following comments from the children about what they liked:
“I liked the lesson in the book: don’t be mean to people.”
“I liked when the Pepperoni Palm Tree let others help.”
“The part where Frederick grows up.”
“I liked the maps.”
“Finding the lizard.” (We won’t give this away, you’ll have to read the book to find out!)
“I liked when Frederick climbed up the Pepperoni Palm Tree.”
Above is a drawing one little girl drew for us. The teacher told me that this particular child never chooses to draw, so when she volunteered to draw the card for me and Aidan, they were surprised.
It is touching indeed to reach a child through stories, pictures and words. But what was even MORE profound was an e-mail I received from a SEVENTH grade teacher, Brittany Throckmorton from Richmond, VA, after we had been to the preschool:
“I just started using the Pepperoni Palm Tree today to teach a lesson… the kids LOVE it! They were so excited when I showed them the trailer. They are now writing their own children’s stories and they are very eager for me to share them with you and Aidan when they finish. Some even wanted to create sequels and add on to the Island series that you guys started using the map of the Pepperoni Palm Tree island. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know, that even 7th graders can relate to this story and are loving it all! VERY COOL!”
I think this just goes to show EVERYONE is a kid inside — even teenagers!
We are beyond pleased that one of our books has inspired other young people to write their own–talk about icing on the cake!