I frequently visit a blog called Mission Amy K.R.. It is a welcoming and interactive site run by author, Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Amy has written many books for children (and adults) including Duck! Rabbit!, Little Hoot, Little Pea, Spoon and the “Cookie” books. At the beginning of each week, Amy proposes a mission on the blog. Missions have included “GraFEETi” (leaving kind messages in unattended shoes-think yoga class, shoe store etc.-for unsuspecting people to find) and positive pranking (leaving “You are beautiful” post-it notes on public restroom mirrors or lucky pennies with a kind message on the sidewalk). Anyway…this week’s mission was “In terms of connecting, Skype’s the limit!”. Amy was planning to set aside an hour and a half on Friday morning (10/15/10) to talk about anything with anyone who was interested and anyone who wanted to Skype should send a message. She would choose 18 people to call. I thought it would be really fun and beneficial for the children to chat with an adult author so I sent a request and then didn’t think much about it after that. UNTIL…I arrived home last night and checked my home email. There was an email asking if we (the kids and I) would be available to talk with Amy via Skype between 10:45-11:05 C.S.T. Well, we were not scheduled to be in our room then but with some quick schedule changes (thanks Mrs. Benton, Mrs. Freeman, Ms. Westburg and Mrs. Horton for their flexibility!!) we were in!
Suddenly I was nervous, I had never even used Skype before! In fact, I had just downloaded it and signed up last night, right after I sent the email accepting the chat! Mrs. Hamilton graciously agreed to help us try it out. She called our classroom from HER classroom first thing this morning to let us have a quick practice run! We were ready!
So at 10:40 C.S.T, 11:40 our time, we excitedly zipped across the hallway to the computer lab to await our call from Amy! During our window of waiting time, we enjoyed Little Oink and I fretted about whether this Skype “thing” would actually work! A few pages and a computer chime notification later and we were face to face with Amy Krouse Rosenthal! The children waved, smiled and introduced themselves. Amy smiled, waved and told us that she thought it was amazing that we could be talking with each other when we were in a classroom in Falmouth, MA and she was in her home in Chicago, Illinois. She talked to them about collecting story ideas (on the back of her hand!) throughout the course of her day and how little seed ideas could grow into big stories. We asked her questions about her favorite book, how many books she had written, if she was writing anything now, if she had ever written a chapter book and much more. The children had excellent questions. We all also talked about Duck! Rabbit! (“Is it a duck or a rabbit?” Amy’s answer: “Yes!” ) and our other favorite books that she has written. She challenged them to find and examine the more complicated vocabulary words that she had used in Little Oink for kids just like them. Our allotted time clicked by quickly and soon was over. Amy was making 18 Skype calls in that time period and had more calls to make. We signed off with more smiles and waving, feeling tickled pink about our visit with Amy and inspired to have met “a real, live writer”!