Sunday, December 15, 2013

Emma and her Elephant head to the NTUC Back to School Fair

This weekend I headed down to the National Library for NTUC's annual Back to School Fair for a book reading and art and craft session. Thankfully Emma agreed to read the story and Auntie Susanna and Karen also kindly volunteered to help out with the art and craft session.

My 45 minute session was scheduled to start promptly at 11:30, so I got there at around 11:00 and met up with Emma and her husband Jim at the Hanis cafe. Emma brought along her freshly printed book Princess Petunia's Dragon and I was one of the lucky few who got my hands on one of the advance copies. Thanks, Emma, it's a brilliant book and bound to be a best-seller!

Then it was time to set things up.  I'm always anxious before any presentation so I was thankful that Auntie Susanna, Karen and Kenneth were already in the room. While Ken had to dash off for another event, Auntie Susanna and Karen started setting up the art supplies, candy canes, and bookmarks for the kids, and Emma and I braced ourselves for the story reading. Soefara, my illustrator for the Sam, Sebbie and Di-Di-Di series, showed up just as we about to start and took a place at the back of the room. Thanks, Soefara!

I was terrified that no one would show up but then when the doors opened, a stream of kids and parents filed in. My throat began to dry up as it usually does before I address and audience, so I took a gulp of my coca-cola and then introduced Emma and myself.

I told the kids that this was Emma's story and she really did have an invisible elephant when she was younger but none of them actually bought that! One kid actually said that he used to like elephants but now he preferred dinosaurs. 

With only forty-five minutes for story telling and the art and craft session, Emma took to the podium and began reading. She has an excellent reading voice and I wish I could read like her. As she was reading, I assigned myself to the difficult task of handling the powerpoint slide show.

After  Emma was done reading, we quizzed the kids to see if they had actually been paying attention and when they answered the questions correctly, Karen handed out small prizes of bookmarks and Christmas candy canes.

Then it was time for art and craft and Auntie Susanna, Karen, Emma and I helped the kids and parents make paper-plate elephants. Thanks goes to Vivian Kirkfield for her art and craft idea!

Karen and Me

It was quite something trying to coordinate the distribution of the art and craft material to all the kids but thanks to Auntie Susanna, Emma, Karen and Stephanie of NBDCS everyone got what they needed and got down to the task at hand - creating a paper plate elephant.

Working on the craft

The kids were told that Auntie Susanna would pick the three designs that she thought were the best and they would each receive a copy of Emma's Elephant.

Very creative


That's mine!

Auntie Susanna about to announce the winners 

After much deliberation, Auntie Susanna picked the three winners and they stepped up to receive their prizes. Everyone else received with Emma's Elephant and Princess Petunia's Dragon bookmarks.

Then Emma spoke briefly about Princess Petunia's Dragon which will be out in January at all good  book shops, so go buy a copy, people! 

On that note, it was a mad rush to tidy up before the next session. I felt completely spent, so exhausted and I can't thank Emma, Auntie Susanna and Karen enough for all their help. 

Then we high-tailed it out of there for a chicken rice lunch before we all headed back home. We would be back the following day for Auntie Susanna's session.

Emma signs Karen's copy of Princess Petunia

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