Here is our last interview of our year-long Literacy Guest Spotlight Q & A Interviews. To celebrate we have a fun GIVEAWAY! Be sure to enter at the end of this post. Today, we are treated to an author of beginning reader books, Pat Calfee. Let’s get to know her!
Pat, tell us a little about yourself.
I am an independent educational consultant. I work with schools on improving student achievement. I conduct workshops for K-5 teachers in math, reading and writing and I also do model lessons in classrooms. I retired after having been a classroom teacher, school improvement coach and director of elementary education in my current school district. I am a wife and mother, but my best job at the present time is being a grandmother to three beautiful little girls!
You are the author of the Issy Books. Tell us about the books and your very special illustrator.
The Issy Books is a set of 11 emergent readers that I wrote and my 5-year-old granddaughter Issy illustrated. Issy is my oldest granddaughter. She has a gift for drawing which we realized when she was about 3 years old. At age 4 she began to make her own little books. My daughter, Issy’s mom, suggested that I write stories for Issy to illustrate. I have a reading certification and help teachers with reading strategies for early readers. So, Issy would think of imaginary characters like Flossie the Flamingo, Snappy the Crab, Oscar the Octopus and others. Then, I used sight words and controlled vocabulary to create short stories centered on Issy’s list of characters! Issy would then draw an illustration for each page of each book.
Other than the Issy Books, what are a few books you have enjoyed reading with your grandchildren this summer?
A Bad Case of the Stripes by David Shannon
Enemy Pie by Derek Munson
Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin
Bee-Wigged by Cece Bell
Do you have any literacy rituals in your family?
We read daily with each of our children. We read favorite books over and over! WE always read at least one book at bedtime. Our children also receive books for many occasions. Plus, we visit our local library often. I guess our ritual would be that we promote reading and good books daily with our children/grandchildren from the moment they are born!
If you could give parents one piece of advice about reading with children, what would it be?
Start reading daily with your children as soon as they are born. Provide a variety of books for your children to “read” and promote the joy of reading books.
Getting To Know You A Little Bit More…
If you could have brunch with three characters from children’s literature, who would you invite?
Lilly, Wendell and Sheila Rae from the Kevin Henkes series
Fern from Charlotte’s Web
Hardcover or e-book?
For me…hardcover. I like to hold a book in my hands and turn the pages. I know that is old-fashioned, but I just love holding a book.
What is a fond childhood memory you have?
When I was young, a bookmobile would come to my neighborhood every week. I would visit the bookmobile during the summer months when I was not in school. I remember getting so excited to visit the bookmobile to check out books.
Where is your favorite place to read a book?
I live on the Pamlico River in North Carolina. I love sitting outside by the river and reading.
What book is on your nightstand or e-reader now?
Would you believe that I have a basket of children’s books in my bedroom! There are about twenty-five books in this basket. Some of the titles include; Pete the Cat; I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin, Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes, Enemy Pie by Derek Munson and Sheila Rae The Brave by Kevin Henkes. When the grandkids are spending the night with us, we read stories from this basket at bedtime.
Pat, thank you for sharing with the Growing Book by Book readers. We wish you much success with the Issy Books.
If you are interested in purchasing Issy Books, you can visit their website for ordering information.
Now, it’s your chance to receive a set of 10 Issy books plus a Meet Issy book!
To enter the giveaway you will need to complete the Rafflecopter section below. That’s it! You have from 7/31/13 at 12:00a.m. (EST) until 8/6/13 at 11:59p.m. (EST) to enter. One entrant (must be 18 years or older) will be randomly drawn and sent an email on or about 8/6/13. The winner has 48 hours to respond with a mailing address (US only). If the information is not sent by the deadline, another entrant will be selected. Good luck!
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