Random thoughts and insights from Ken Baker - Children's author, freelance writer, husband, father of five, and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Monday, April 29, 2013
How to Create Habits of Reading in Kids
Getting books in the hands of children that they will love is so key to helping them form habits of regular reading. That doesn't mean forcing certain types of books on them. It means being open to their personal tastes and helping them find books that they will want to devour. That could mean graphic novels, classics, non-fiction, adventures, historical fiction, mysteries, thrillers, fantasy, poetry, contemporary, humor, whatever.
Monday, April 8, 2013
Dragon Fiasco Insights
I had a nice chat the other day with Old MacDonald to get his insight on the dragon fiasco that took place on his farm. Enjoy!
Ken: What prompted you to get a dragon for your farm?
Old MacD: You know, the old song was getting as stale as a year old biscuit. Having a dragon on the farm just seemed to make sense. What kid singing my song wouldn’t want a verse of “With a roar, roar here. And a roar, roar there. Here a roar, there a roar. Everywhere a roar, roar.” Besides, who doesn’t love dragons?
Ken: What was the best part of having a dragon?
Old MacD: Marshmallows. I never needed a campfire. Just throw him a marshmallow and voila- instant deliciousness. Add some chocolate and graham crackers, and ooh-wee, you’re in S’more heaven.
Ken: When did you first start suspecting a problem?
Old MacD: Well, the animals started to complain. Of course, I thought they were just jealous. Dragons are cool. Bold. Flashy. And downright awesome. They got the wings. The massive tail. And you can’t beat that breathing fire bit. Dragons can be a bit intimidating when you’re just a pig wallowing in your own goo.
Ken: What does a full-sized, fire breathing winged dragon cost these days?
Old MacD: No matter what those blasted infomercials say, $19.95 won’t get you a decent dragon. Oh, sure they’ll send you a toad or newt with taped on wings, but you won’t get any fire out of those buggers. If you’re careful you can find a good dragon online, but the shipping and handling will burst your billfold.
(Spoiler Alert!) Ken: What was it like to sing and play your guitar inside a dragon?
Old MacD: I could do without the slime and the intestines jiggling under my boots, but the acoustics were dagnab delightful. I ain't no fancy smancy virtuosos, but inside a dragon I can give that Chesney fella a run for his money.
Ken: After the whole dragon incident, are you still on speaking terms with your animals?
Old MacD: The whole dragon thing was what got the animals talking to begin with. Hecky-darn, now I can’t get the pig and cow to shut up. I kinda miss the days when all I had to worry about was a moo moo here or an oink oink there. Believe me. I’ve learned my lesson. Dragons are a big fat fuss. If you’ve read the book, you know what I’m talking about.
Ken: Any final words?
Old MacD: You know, not many people can say they once had their own dragon. That’s something, ain’t it? But Pappy used to always say, “Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.” For awhile there, having a dragon was quite the fandango, but in the end I think I might just have getted got… Oh, and one last thing. E-I-E-I-O.
For the full story on the great dragon farm fiasco, check out the book Old MacDonald had a Dragon.
In case you want to tweet Old MacD's interview, here are some tweetables
Dragons can be a bit intimidating when you’re just a pig wallowing in your own goo - click to tweet
For $19.95 they’ll send you a toad or newt with taped on wings, but you won’t get any fire out of those buggers - click to tweet
The dragon thing got the animals talking to begin with. Hecky-darn, now I can’t get the pig and cow to shut up - click to tweet
I ain't no fancy smancy virtuosos, but inside a dragon I can give that Chesney fella a run for his money - click to tweet
Add some chocolate and graham crackers, and ooh-wee, you’re in S’more heaven - click to tweet
For awhile having a dragon was quite the fandango, but in the end I think I might just have getted got - click to tweet
Image by Christopher Santoro
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