Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pilgrim Party -- Writing a Picture Book Part 3

Hmmm, I seem to be giving you a blow by blow account of the process I'm going through with this story.

Part 3 --
Yesterday (Tuesday) I did a program for families at my library called Pilgrim Children. I used that wonderful series of books illustrated by photographs that were taken of reenactors at the Plymoth Plantation:

Sarah Morton's day : a day in the life of a Pilgrim girl
Samuel Eaton's day : a day in the life of a Pilgrim boy
Tapenum's day : a day in the life of a Wampanoag Indian boy

all by Kate Waters, published by Scholastic Press.

While I was talking about life way back then, the kids were passing around a square sided quart jar partially filled with heavy whipping cream, each taking turns shaking it. (I had promised them that they would make butter.) I also insisted that the adults help with the shaking, so that it would turn faster.

Eventually, I read them my new Gather 'Round the Table story.
I learned a lot doing this.
Yesterday afternoon, I had let my branch manager read the story and I could tell that there still were some confusing spots that needed to be made clearer. (She was confused and I had to explain -- not a good sign. The story should be able to stand on its own and then be expanded by the illustrations.)
As I read the story at the evening program, I discovered other words that needed to be replaced, phrases that needed to be changed.

After 45 minutes we had heavy whipped cream filling the jar and the whole jar looked sorta yellow. While I opened the jar and removed some of the whipped cream to make space for more shaking, I instructed the kids about the craft they would work on while the parents finished shaking the butter jar. Suddenly -- the whipped cream in the jar turned to butter! (surprising the heck out of the man shaking the jar at the time.) I showed everyone the huge chunk of butter in the jar/ we talked about the liquid now being called buttermilk/ and then I poured off the buttermilk and removed the butter from the jar. After I pressed more liquid out of the butter, we ate.

That morning I had made biscuits and corn pone for everyone. (Did you know that corn pone is actually a sort-of corn meal pancake which tastes like cornbread?) There was enough for everyone to have double helpings with butter on it. About half the kids were brave enough to try a small amount of buttermilk.

A yummy time was had by all.
And on Wednesday morning (today) I made those changes/ improvements in the manuscript that I had discovered on Tuesday.
-wendie old

1 comment:

Jean said...

Wonderful idea for a school visit.