Writing Tip — Favorite Stories: Fair! by Ted Lewin

713maf2b2mlLike I wrote in my post “September as Writing Inspiration”, September, in my neck of the woods, means the county fair, one of my favorite community events. And no book captures the spirit of the American county fair like Ted Lewin’s Fair!

With extraordinarily detailed water colors, Mr. Lewin depicts the life of a county fair from the arrival of the amusement rides to the moment they pull away to head to the next town. His descriptions of the sites, sounds, and tastes will be familiar to anyone who has attended a fair. I especially like that Mr. Lewin devotes so many pages to the 4-H kids and their animals since I now have experience with that competition through my kids.

Mr. Lewin has illustrated hundreds of books and written many himself. Some of my other favorites are Stablewhich relates the story of a stable that still gives lessons and provides horses and ponies for weddings and street fairs in New York City. Another wonderful book is Gorilla WalkMr. Lewin tells of his adventures with his wife, fellow illustrator Betsy Lewin, when they visit Uganda to see gorillas in the wild.

And if you want a unique reading experience, try Mr. Lewin’s autobiography I Was a Teenage Professional WrestlerI guarantee it is the only autobiography of a wrestler turned children’s illustrator.

By the way, I am always looking for good mysteries and would love to find one set at the county fair. Has anyone ever read one?

Monday Sparks — Writing Prompts: First Day of School Memories

rushw-1822566_1280What are your memories of the first day of school? Or if you are still in school, what have your first days of school this year been like?

I don’t have many first day of school memories, but I do remember my first day of kindergarten. Maybe it’s stayed with me because it was my first day of public school.  I only had half-day kindergarten and went in the afternoon. I remember sitting at a table — kindergartners did not have desks — next to a girl named Cara Hughes. My mom said when I left that day, I had gathered the names of most of the kids in my class.

If you have some good memories, write them down. I wish I remembered more. I’d love for you to share your first day of school memories.

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