School Program Story by Maria Parenti- Baldey
Author and public servant with a legal background, Cori Brooke wears a cool hat for every story. In her Early Childhood shortlisted, ‘All I Want for Christmas is Rain’ the Preppies guessed right — a farmer’s hat. Ninety Preps and a sprinkle of 1/2s, also learned how Brooke's Picture Book endpapers tell you about the story. Because of the drought, the first endpaper was splotchy brown for… ‘Dirt!’. And the last endpaper was splotchy green for… ‘Grass!’ symbolising young Jane’s wish for rain. Also no words on the page meant the story was being told through the Illustrator’s pictures. Students saw the illustrators first pencil drawing of a scene. Starts with an Sss… it’s called a… ‘Sketch!’ The second drawing showed the illustrator working out colours for characters and setting.
Next, students had their chance to write the first line of a story. Brooke said, ‘The first line has to draw your reader in.’ She used a story cube - starting with Once upon a time… and the word ‘parachute’. The little-ones were vocalising ideas as they worked in groups with their teacher. Starting with Once upon a time… we found a yellow and orange parachute and it was magical. Once… there was a pig and a pigeon and a parachute landed in front of them. Once… we went swimming in the pool and a parachute landed. Brooke gave them high praise for their imaginative story starts for such a young age.
Brooke also encouraged students to write and draw their own book, like she had in year 2/3. She held up her first hand-created self-published book ‘The Dream’ from ‘a time when there was no computers’. She wrote her first draft by hand, which continued today in an A4 notebook before putting it into the computer. Writing by hand allowed her story to flow, make notes in margin and add drawings.
Before she read ‘Fearless Dad’ she asked the kids, ‘What do I need first before I read this… ‘A HAT!’
Blogging Team 2017