Want Us at Your School?…Grandpa and the Truck

Wow! I’m excited…Last week we had a big week, with 3 presentations. First, we were at East Greenwich Library; then, we went to Hasbro Children’s Hospital and tho’ that was a worthy cause, we only had 3 little ones in the audience (others confined to rooms, due to low immunity). Following our presentation, we gave them books, in attempts to brighten their difficult day.

But because these audiences were small, we didn’t get a feel for how kids would receive our message.

Then, we went before Warwick Central Library, where we had an audience of 20-25 little ones, ages 3-4, on Thursday Morning Story Hour. It was a hoot!

We had sound effects of bloodhounds baying and hurricane winds howling. While husband manned the tech equipment, I launched into the stories. Periodically, I asked my young audience questions.

What was so interesting to me? The age-group reaction. You see, I’m a teacher of 30 years’ experience with older kids—those 12, up to 17, so this younger crowd is a new one for me, with the exception of our grandkids.

As a 30-year teacher to the arguably-toughest audience (adolescents), I’m used to using a rapid-fire approach…duck and parry…move about; utilize fancy footwork; make eye contact…change the beat.

I used all ways to bump up the attention span….that’s my forte.

And I gotta say: This last presentation before a sizable audience went beautifully. I LOVED it. The little ones stayed with me and we even came away with some awesome ideas of how we’ll change the ‘show’ in the future: For the fog effect of story 1, Book 1, we’ll get dry ice and let its vapor waft about. Husband will pose lights behind it to give effect of truck headlights in deep mist (big rig’s on a foggy roadway in this story.)

We’ll incorporate more sound effects for the part where police cruiser goes through the guardrail and down into the ditch…with the other cars following him….Down…Down…Down…

At the end, we asked them questions and they asked my trucker-husband questions, like “What’s your favorite color?” (I didn’t see that coming).

When we asked them what they thought was “the only state in the United States he didn’t go to, as a trucker,” they answered ‘America.’ Another offered ‘Alaska.’ Only the assistant librarian knew the correct answer—”Hawaii.”

I then added: “That’s what we do in the Grandpa and the Truck stories—We teach geography…… and a whole lot more.”

At the end, I chose one child to give a free book to (I didn’t let the others know.)

I wanted to give her our newest book, #2, for it contains “Girl Truckers” as one of its two stories (every Grandpa and the Truck book has 2). Its message is clear: People should choose careers and jobs based on interests and abilities—not on whether they’re boys or girls.

But those books hadn’t arrived at our home yet from the printer. When did they arrive? After we finished all the presentations we were slated for. Isn’t that always the way?

Grandpa and the Truck will be going to many more schools, as I now know: That is our audience. If you want us to visit your school, please contact us…Either comment below or send us an email at ckmellor@cox.net. We are vetted by top school authorities, so be assured..

In the meantime, our books are For Sale at Symposium Bookstore on Main Street East Greenwich and Twice Told Tales, in Edgewood (Cranston), RI.  In Asheville, NC., they’re at Malaprops Bookstore and Mountain Made, in the Grove Arcade.

We’ve just been named to OOIDA’s “Cool Gifts” section of Landline, the truckers’ association magazine that goes out to 200,000 families; that will hit those home in mid-November.

Our books are also available at www.grandpaandthetruck.com.