Friday, April 8, 2011, is Mystery Reader Day at Victoria Elementary, Victoria, Minnesota, and the mystery reader is Bernie Henderson, who is my wife Nancy's cousin. None of the second grade students in Mrs. Behun's class know the mystery reader's identity in advance, including her daughter, Caroline, so when we walk in, Caroline's face shines like the sun.
In the picture above, Caroline (in yellow) watches intently as her mother reads my book, If I Were a Farmer: Nancy's Adventure.
In the picture below, you can tell that Bernie's reading is effective because Mrs. Behun and the students are focused intently on the story.
Mrs. Behun is kind to let me say a few words so I talk about the real things that farmers do that are shown in my books, and then I demonstrate how to teach a newborn calf how to drink out of a pail in the picture below.
In the picture below, as I point to a picture of Caroline's grand uncle Ambrose on the dedication page of my book A Farm Country Thanksgiving, mother and daughter share an intergenerational moment.
Moments like the one pictured above and below help make Nancy's and my efforts worthwhile.
Caroline Henderson posing for a picture with me.
Nancy and I wish to thank Cousin Bernie for arranging our visit to Caroline's school, and we especially wish to thank Mrs. Behun for inviting us visit her classroom and allowing me to speak to her wonderful students. It's pretty clear to me that she is doing a great job of teaching them to be good listeners and audience members. I hope they invite Nancy and me back soon.
Photographs by Nancy A. Fredrickson