Author Nina Laden visits Highland Terrace Elementary

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Author Nina Laden at Highland Terrace Elementary

Text and photos by Alicia Wilson

Highland Terrace students from Kindergarten through third grade were privileged to have author Nina Laden come to speak to them as well as give them an art lesson this past Monday. Students found the author/illustrator's books to be funny and whimsical. Ms. Laden was able to spend a whole school day while classes came in grade levels to hear her presentations in the library.

Nina is the author and/or illustrator of over 20 books for young readers, including The Night I Followed the Dog which received a Parent’s Choice Gold Award; and a Children’s Choice Award. 

Ms. Laden explained to students how many of her stories developed and how they might use their experiences to write. Daily ordinary occurrences have given Nina subjects to write about.

“I was in my garden and saw a Daddy Long-Legs on one of my tomatoes. I started thinking about what would happen if Daddies had the wrong legs.” 

Thus the inspiration of her innovative flip book Daddy Wrong-Legs. This funny book allows a child to mix and match legs of other origins: like frog legs or dog legs.

Are We There Yet?
Author Nina Laden at Highland Terrace
Students brought clipboards with paper and a pencil or a crayon to use during Ms. Laden’s talk. She inspired students to use their creativity while giving them step-by-step lessons on how to draw characters.

Ms. Laden taught students how to draw different versions of dogs in their art. Nina says that dogs are animals that have the largest variety of features; from ears to snout to types of hair. So students were able to sketch their own unique dog.

Ms. Laden read her most recent book, Are We There Yet?, about a family visiting grandma while driving through everything from hillsides to Black Holes.

As Nina read every new change of scenery for the children in the book, the Highland Terrace students responded in chorus, “Are we there yet?”

The Highland Terrace PTA generously supports author visits like Ms. Laden's every year for the Kindergarten through sixth grade students.


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