By Margaret Chegwin
Vol 14, Issue 50, December 16, 2010
(Leduc-Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer)
Children’s Author Frieda Wishinsky was a great hit with Miss Dahl-Perras’ Grade Two class at Norwood School. Ms Wishinsky taught school for a number of years so knew how to hold the students’ attention and keep them interested as she read some of her books, especially some of the ones with predictable rhymes for the children to complete. The books she chose to read were fun books with large, bright pictures, but that is not the only type of book which she has written. She has also written the “Canadian Flyer” series which are chapter books about Canadian adventures at the Grade Two and Three reading level.
Frieda Wishinsky comes from New York, but has lived in Canada for 34 years. She has visited all the provinces except Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. On this trip, she was in Alberta for eight days visiting libraries and schools in Central Alberta. Her first book was published in 1990.
The “Friends of the Library” decided to fund an author’s visit, but only had enough for one presentation. They decided that they would like to sponsor the author’s visit to a school, but which school? So they ran a poster contest. The class that produced the best poster depicting “My Canada” would have the visit from the author and receive some of the author’s books for the school library. Miss Dahl-Perras’ Grade Two class at Norwood School produced an excellent poster which won the contest. Mrs. Johanna de Vries presented the 14 book “Canadian Flyer” series by Frieda Wishinsky to Mrs. Hawken, the Norwood School Librarian.
An author’s visit to a school is always a special event, but Frieda Wishinsky has the personality and experience, the expertise, to make her visit extra special. The children were fully involved throughout, and had a wealth of questions for her at the end. When they had the opportunity at the end, they flocked around her with questions and comments, enjoying her very presence. It is events such as this that make school a special place and inspire a love of reading.