Visiting author Margriet Ruurs delighted Junior School students this week, teaching them all about how books are made and reading from a few of her own books. Mrs. Ruurs, who’s also a poet and teacher, began by talking with the kids about their favourite authors.
She then asked them what would be the first thing they would need to write a story. “A pen?” guessed one student. “A piece of paper?” guessed another. Eventually, one boy answered “An idea!” Mrs. Ruurs said that all of her books began with a few scribbled notes and it sometimes takes her a year to make her story the best it can be, before she sends it to a publisher.
“It’s most important to write a good story,” said Mrs. Ruurs. “To make it funny and exciting.”
One of her favourite things about being an author is having her stories sent to an illustrator, who creates pictures to go with her story. Mrs. Ruurs then showed the students one of her books using a slide projector, so they could see all the drawings. She read Emma’s Eggs, a story about a chicken who doesn’t know what to do with her eggs.
Next, she showed them her alphabet-themed books. It was especially fun to see the pages of The Pacific Alphabet, because each picture contained a hidden letter and many things starting with each letter, which the students had fun discovering.
“Promise me that you’ll always read more books than you play video games,” said Mrs. Ruurs. “Books make your brain bigger.”
In addition to being an author, Mrs. Ruurs is also the editor of Kidswwwrite, an online magazine that publishes poems and stories written by children.