Interview with Christine Calabrese

What are people saying about Poor Little Pencil?
On LinkedIn teacher's are leaving these comments:
This sounds like such a great introduction to some very resistant K students who have been using the wrong pencil grasp for some time. Thanks for sharing! I will be trying this tomorrow.

Later:

Christine, the kids loved your book. I did see the video. It was helpful. Now before writing I remind them of the poor little pencil, and instead of griping they laugh and correct themselves. Thanks!
Geralyn Downey
English Teacher Coordinator at Jump Immersion School, Volunteer tutor for Literacy New Jersey

Great book, Christine! Thank you for sharing it. Your writing has a fun rhythm and your illustrations are engaging. i can see your book being the perfect read aloud as you begin the writing process with your students. Thanks again for sharing! Happy writing!
Mary Nardo
Founder + CEO of Ready Set GO READ! LLC

Excellent post! Definitely a helpful resource for parents as well as practitioners.
Dara Rubel
Elementary Educator I Graduate Student

great rhyming book!my kid loves it very much. thank you very much for sharing.
Elaine Gu LinkedIn
college teacher Nanjing, Jiangsu China

Great Video Christine! Just what I needed to confirm my pencil-holding-correction efforts! Great presentation! Great book!
Mary Pecci LinkedIn
Reading Specialist at Pecci Reading Services

What a great idea! I will add this book to my class list. I also recommend parents and teachers use large triangular pencils and crayons which can also make it easier.
Barbara E. Harvey
Parenting Expert, Speaker Conference/Seminar, Executive Director, Author Journeys Through Parenthood Volume One

I think this is fantastic information! Thank you so much for sharing it!
Anne Keeley
Vice President of Class+Mates Learning Systems Inc. Principal Founder and partner at Class+Mates Learning Systems Inc.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading, teaching, creating recipes, exercising, giving lots of hugs to my dog and husband. :-)
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I do a search on google.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, I think I wrote a story about a little raindrop when I was a child.
What is your writing process?
I work with children and I see what they like and what they don't like. I create my stories for them, to help them remember key concepts or help them adjust to the classroom.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't remember my first story, but I do remember my favorite story. My favorite story was "Christy" by Catherine Marshall. A true story of a young teacher who braved the Appalachian mountains to teach children. I loved that story and still do. This story inspired me to become a teacher.
How did you meet your illustrator?
Kenneth Jackson is the art teacher in my school. We have been friends for a long time, his work with the children is excellent. I love his drawings and he's a really easy going guy! It's fun to know that two teachers can work together to create books.
Who is your favorite children's books authors?
I love William Steig. I think he is brilliant. He uses creative language and syntax.
What do you read for pleasure?
I love to read books about teaching. Recently I finished a great book called, "Reading In the Brain" by Stanislas Dahaene. I also enjoy reading good historical fiction books. I love reading about the founding fathers and their work in our country. I finally finished "Team of Rivals" a book about Abraham Lincoln. I'm now reading about Benjamin Franklin.
How do you write your books?
I usually jot notes down on paper, sometimes I have great ideas in the middle of the night. I keep a paper and pencil on my nightstand so I can quickly write down my ideas. I like to write with paper and pencil so I can erase or cross things out.
How are you marketing your book?
My book is specifically designed for teachers and parents of little ones, so I have to target my marketing accordingly. I blog, and connect with teachers and parent groups. I designed a lesson around the book so that teachers and parents can easily teach their little ones how to hold a pencil.
What time of day do you do your best writing and working?
I'm an early bird, I like to work in the morning. When I'm not teaching, I get up, exercise and start working.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up oin suburban Long Island. We had lots of space to run and play. My Dad loved to tell us stories at night. He made up his own stories about the adventures of a mouse. I think my Dad with his creative imagination and is love for children and nature influenced my writing.
When did you first start writing?
I enjoyed writing in elementary school. I wrote a little poem that got published in the school newspaper. It was so exciting to see my work in print.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Poor Little Pencil was written in the classroom to help children learn how to hold a pencil properly. As a kindergarten teacher, I like to engage children in play and make up stories for them so that they find learning fun and imaginative.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
It's fun to see my work appreciated.
What are you working on next?
I am working on another picture book and a book of prayers and inspirational thoughts for teachers.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Working with my class and children, helping others, hugging my dog and my husband!
Published 2015-10-31.
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