February 12, 2013

Tell Me About Your Day Today

Illustrated by Lauren Stringer

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“There was once a boy who loved bedtime.  He loved the last kiss. He loved the last story.  He loved the last goodnight. He knew he was in the company of friends and couldn’t wait for their conversation to begin.
Greedy Goose coughed a little cough.

‘Hello, Greedy Goose,’ the boy whispered.  He loved Greedy Goose.
‘Tell me about your day today.’

And Greedy Goose told him about her day—

the who,
the what,
the why,
and the way . . .
the whole wild thing turned out okay…”

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Writing and re-writing the story on my deck on a summer’s night

I bet we can all remember our parents asking us how our day had gone when we arrived home from school, and how we would answer in monosyllables, revealing nothing. And then we were paid p back in adulthood by asking our own children the same question and getting the same kind of reply.  These days when I’m chatting to my own grown-up daughter I just say, ’Tell me stories.’ And she knows I mean stories about her day.  I insist on at least two.

So I wrote this book to ease the way for parents and children to talk about their days, at the very end of the day when relaxation and quiet create the right mood for conversation.

My editor for this book was Allyn Johnston from Beach Lane Books.  She has been my editor for over 25 years and has, of course, become a close friend.  From time to time she comes to Australia to stay with me to do hands-on editing. It’s fun. It doesn’t seem like work at all! In the photo above Allyn is making yet another 32-page booklet to paste the text into, to make sure the page turns feel right.

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Me reading the book to children in Minnesota 2012

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Lauren Stringer’s studio in Minneapolis, when she was sorting out how to illustrate Tell Me About Your Day Today.
In the end she made a wonderful ‘second story’ through the pictures, to add wonder to my original text.

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The illustrator, Lauren Stringer, librarian Susan Richards and me, Minnesota 2012

Lauren’s website can be found at www.laurenstringer.com

School Library Journal:Review of Tell Mem About Your Day Today 24/08/12

For pre-school-Grade 1

A boy loves all the nightly rituals of bedtime, but mostly he loves, after the last good night, sharing the story of the day with his stuffed animal friends Greedy Goose, Blue Horse, and Fat Rabbit. Though readers ultimately learn that these four friends spent the day together, each has a version of “…the what, the who, the why, and the way…the whole wild thing…turned out okay.” While the rhythmic and snappy text sets up the action, it’s really the art that tells the story. Rich spreads done in acrylics stay grounded in the present, but readers piece the story of the day together through the pictures. Each animal’s perspective provides more clues until the boy’s own version brings it all together. This warm, bedtime read celebrates the comforts of sharing a story together and a day well spent.

Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA