Lizann Flatt on Loving the Language in Children’s Books

Lizann Flatt on Loving the Language in Children’s Books

Lizann Flatt2smallIt’s a pleasure to welcome Lizann Flatt to Good Books to Share. When I walked in the door for my first retreat with the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Lizann greeted me with a smile. Her gracious welcome set me at ease. I’m grateful for the leadership she showed in organizing that retreat and many other events for the Canada East Chapter of the SCBWI. 
 
Lizann is the author of many nonfiction books, short stories and poems for kids. Recent nonfiction picture book titles include Shaping Up Summer, Sizing Up Winter, Sorting Through Spring, Counting on Fall, and Let’s Go! The Story of Getting from There to Here. Her work has also appeared in Ladybug, Babybug, and Highlights for Children magazines. Lizann was formerly the editor of Chickadee magazine. Today she lives in rural Muskoka, Ontario with her husband and three children.
 
Please share about your experience of connecting with books as a child. What positive memories do you have?
My parents read to me at bedtime, and I loved that. Partly my good memories are from the together time, me tucked under a cozy blanket in bed, but it was also the way the stories sounded. I loved the language of them. I loved memorizing the stories and knowing what was coming on the next page. I loved thinking about the stories as I tried to fall asleep. Today I still keep a few of the books I had as a child on my bookshelf. I only have to open them to bring back memories of my early love of rhythm, rhyme, and story.
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What are your favorite aspects of sharing good books with kids?
 
I think my favourite thing about sharing books with kids is the way the book can spark discussion or questions or connections. When I do school visits with my Math in Nature series I hear about the squirrels kids have in their backyards, or how they saw milkweeds. When I share my Let’s Go! The Story of Getting from There to Here kids tell me about the transportation vehicles they use or like best. One boy even told me about how he came here to Canada on a boat just like in my book. I think those connections are terrific. It shows kids that reading and books are connected with our lives.
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Please share your thoughts on and tips for sharing good books with children.
 
I’ve always been glad I followed the advice I’d heard and began reading to my kids when they were babies. As in as soon as they were old enough to sit up in my lap, I read them short nursery rhymes or board books. And I read them aloud with feeling and drama like I really enjoyed them—because I did. Then, as they grew, I’d let my kids touch the pages—okay gnaw on the pages sometimes—and then help me turn the pages. Even my fidgety firstborn would sit through a whole board book and then later longer stories. For all my kids, once they voiced an opinion I’d let them choose the story we’d read. If they wanted more than one, they got to choose one and I chose one. Once they wanted to read chapter books or middle grade novels, I let them take the lead on what we’d read. That’s not to say I didn’t have suggestions, but if my suggestion didn’t grab them after a couple of pages, we moved on to something else. I always wanted reading at home to be fun. Now that they’re teenagers I can say, “Mission accomplished.”

 

How about you? What childhood books contained language that you loved?

Good news! Those who comment on this post will be entered in a draw for two of Lizann’s books. First, I am giving away a copy of Counting on Fall. Also, Lizann is donating a signed copy of Let’s Go! The Story of Getting from There to Herewhich was selected by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre to be given to every Grade One student in Canada in the TD Grade One Book Giveaway. 

To be eligible for even more giveaways by wonderful children’s illustrators and authors, sign up below for Aimee’s newsletter. 

 

Check out Lizann’s books:
CountingOnFall_cover_large - Copysizing up winter - Copy (2)sorting through springshaping up summerLet's Go
Visit Lizann 

12 thoughts on “Lizann Flatt on Loving the Language in Children’s Books”

    • Thanks for your comments, Lydia. Yes, I think it would be wonderful to know that your book was in the hands of that many children.

  1. Congratulations, Lizann for all your successes. Books have such a lasting impact on children. I love the line about how Lizann said she would fall asleep thinking about the book – me, too. I still do that. Words on a page can have a lasting amazing impact on a curious mind. A great article. Thanks for inviting me over, Aimee!

    • I loved that line too, Glynis. Also, when I looked at Lizann’s favorite books pictured in her photo, I remembered loving the book Peppermint as well. How fun for me to see that book cover again!

  2. Congratulations to Glynis, who will receive a signed copy of Counting on Fall, and to Heather, whose name was drawn for a signed copy of Let’s Go! The Story of Getting from Here to There. Both names were selected in a random draw.

    Thanks for commenting, everyone! I plan to give away many more books on my blog and to newsletter subscribers, so thanks for sharing your thoughts as part of this community.

  3. Thanks, everyone. Yes, the TD Grade One Giveaway is a huge honour! For sure a highlight of my career! I love that Aimee also remembers reading “Peppermint.” Thank you, Aimee, for this article.

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