The book they chose? When Christmas Feels Like Home and it isn't even Christmas, which in the end proved to be an advantage. The students could focus on the theme of the story rather than the frame I built it around.
And they got it. THEY GOT IT!!!
From that little language experiment, they understood what Eduardo went through when he first came to America. We had fun going through figurative language and miscues I wrote in the first few drafts of the book. I let them in on a few background secrets, like the holly misplaced on the Thanksgiving table.
And the name changes of the characters...and the title.
They asked questions at the end. Great, well thought-out questions that were an extension of what we had discussed. After I introduced my other books, the question came (in all six presentations at the various schools) "Which one is your favorite?" which I always threw back to them, "It's like asking your mother or grandmother who is your favorite. I love them all the same."
The question I had most fun with was "How old are you?"
The first time, I answered truthfully and they collectively gasped! So I came up with "I'm a grandma, so I'm about the same age as your grandmas" Yuk, yuk to that. Some of their grandmas are in their thirties!
Being a grandma is fun. I can love on the little ones and send them back home with their parents.
Being a visiting author is the same kind of fun. I enjoyed those fourth graders and realized there were parts of teaching I missed. But then, when we were finished, I waved goodbye to them all and sent them back to class with their teachers.
Catch of the day,