Author brings the picture book alive for studentsFor about an hour the Kennedy Elementary School students became part of picture book author Debra Frasier’s imagination as she had completed her book, “A Birthday Cake Is No Ordinary Cake.”
By: Jane Lightbourn, The Hastings Star-Gazette
For about an hour the Kennedy Elementary School students became part of picture book author Debra Frasier’s imagination as she had completed her book, “A Birthday Cake Is No Ordinary Cake.”
She had their attention and probably even had their imaginations working during her visit to the school.
As part of the school’s Beyond Celebration event in May, Frasier’s visit helped to encourage reading and writing.
“You are never too old for the best of the picture books,” said Frasier.
As Frasier presented her slides about “A Birthday Cake is No Ordinary Cake,” students were introduced to her daughter Calla, who was “obsessive” about birthday cakes. Each slide represented another year of Calla’s life and the decorated cake that depicted that year in her life. There was a mermaid, a dolphin, softball images and a surprise.
As the picture book evolved from the cakes, Frasier described the process of “write, scribble,” and then submit a dummy to her editor. That first dummy, returned to her with many suggestions, was redone and submitted. Again, it was changed. Even as she traveled to talk to her editor, Frasier was revising.
She has her process of doing her pictures, and told the kids how to do it: “scissors, paper and clue,” she said.
Frasier’s journal and practice books are another valued part of the process.
“You want to make it right so it enters your heart,” she said.
When asked, Frasier said she has no favorite among her books. They are all her favorites.
“I detest the question,” she said.
Frasier’s first book, “On the Day You Were Born,” written for and dedicated to her daughter, has received worldwide recognition. The accompanying video won the American Library Association’s highest honor for a children’s film, the Andrew Carnegie Medal.
Frasier’s visit to Kennedy was funded through a “What If” grant of the Hastings Public Schools Foundation.