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ELC students meet children’s book author

By Staff | Mar 25, 2011

Author Jeanette Hopkins visited Phoebe Hersom’s kindergarten class at Demoney Elementary Thursday afternoon. EDN photo by David Swartz

Estherville Lincoln Central kindergartners met an author this week and that ladybugs can dances-at least in stories.

Jeanette Hopkins, author of “The Ladybug Waltz,” met with half the kindergarten classes on Thursday and will continue visiting with the others today.

Hopkins wrote the story for her granddaughter Chloe as she was undergoing one of five open-heart surgeries.

The inspiration came when she and her husband Bruce were visiting the granddaughter who saw a ladybug and smiled.

Bruce, who travels with Jeanette, said she asked for a pen or a pencil (which he didn’t have) and so had to begin the book by writing it with a crayon on a napkin.

The couple travels to schools to share their stories as well as talk about writing and illustrating a book.

Hopkins adapts her message to whatever grade level she speaks with. If working with older students she talks about alliteration and metaphors.

When she’s addressing a graduate class, she’ll discuss marketing and other publishing aspects.

Hopkins said she has visited over 140 schools in the last year and a half.

“We like the smaller districts because many haven’t met an author,” she said.

She was impressed with ELC kindergartners who weren’t afraid to ask questions.

When Hopkins said her “imagination kicked in,” one student immediately asked her what that meant.

Besides introducing students to the story she also introduced the students to the vocabulary as the book includes words like “indigo” and “spectators.”

The book also has a companion CD sung by Jane Bunnell of the Metropolitan Opera.