Without question, some of the most magical times of the school year is when the Scholastic Book Fairs are held. Usually twice a year (one in Fall, one in Spring), these week long events showcase handpicked books that can be purchased at discounted rates by children right at their school. As I may have noted earlier, Third Grade Mermaid is appearing in Scholastic Book Fairs all over the country this Spring, and I have been going to as many schools as possible to help enhance the experience.
Elementary school classes make a point of noting who wrote and/or illustrated the books they are reading. And this is great. But the kids almost NEVER meet these people. In my entire grade school years, I met only one actual author, and that was because she came to the city library, not to our school. My point is, this gives kids the impression that books are written by somebody else, and not by real people like themselves.
These Book Fair visits are a great opportunity to help break this cycle. I make a point to emphasize that books are not written by magic or by some super "talented" people somewhere else. Obviously I can't teach children how to write a book in a 25 minute speech. But I don't have to. The teachers do that. I think having actual authors come to schools to speak to children about the writing process is the perfect way to reinforce the concepts they are already being taught.