Patricia Newman says, “I write because I can’t imagine not writing. I write for myself and for the kids who read my work. I write for the joy of seeing a kid sitting in the front row at a school visit, hand stretched high to answer my questions. I write for the kid who tells me he has read Jingle the Brass 15 times.” Patricia was a reluctant writer in elementary school; creative writing frightened her. When she talks to students, she shares why she changed her mind about writing and why she loves it so much now, hoping to inspire them to share their vision of the world.
Patricia’s newest picture book, Nugget on the Flight Deck, soars with real military jargon and life aboard an aircraft carrier. Her first book, Jingle the Brass, is a hit with children and their train-loving adults. Jingle the Brass, is a Junior Library Guild Selection and recommended by Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, The Horn Book, Booklist, and School Library Journal. Patricia Newman has also written Seasons Around the World and The Science of Play for Pearson Learning Group and several articles for children’s and adult magazines. She is a frequent speaker at schools and conferences, and her talks often include anecdotes from the 100+ children’s authors and illustrators she has interviewed for her monthly column “Who Wrote That?” Patricia is a graduate of Cornell University and a former teacher.
Patricia Newman’s author visits excite students about reading and writing. Patricia shares her writing process with students: the idea stage, research, thinking visually, developing voice, revision, and submission. Her multi-media presentations include draft manuscripts, editors’ notes, early illustrator sketches, and galley proofs to help students envision the process of creating a book. Each presentation is interactive with several opportunities for student participation in the form of questions and answers, skits, and other assistance.
Jingle the Brass
Illustrated by Michael Chesworth
“Pull up a stool and put on the nosebag with me while I finish my breakfast.” With those words, an old-time hogger welcomes a young lad to the diner before they head out to the yard. A hogger is an engineer and he proudly invites the boy to climb aboard engine number 417, otherwise known as “ole hog.” Joe, the ashcat feeds the firebox with coal to produce the steam that will take them on the morning’s excursion. They pull out into the merry-go-round and hitch up to the train. The boy is allowed to ring the brass bell to let the rear brakeman know the mile-long train is leaving the station. The story abounds with colloquialisms appropriate to the world of railroading circa 1926 and the illustrations wonderfully capture the atmosphere. A glossary of terms is included along with several suggestions for further reading. Young readers interested in trains and railroading will climb aboard, go full steam ahead and enjoy the ride! 2004, Farrar Straus and Giroux, $16.50. Ages 5 to 8. Reviewer: Carolyn Mott Ford (Children’s Literature).
Nugget on the Flight Deck
Illustrated by Aaron Zenz
Excitement builds as Nugget, a brand-new aviator, learns his way around an aircraft carrier and makes his maiden voyage on a “bird.” Readers learn many slang words such as “bird,” which means aircraft. Lively illustrations and clever design make this a visually appealing book, and one that children will learn from as well as enjoy reading. Nugget begins his journey aboard a carrier on a very blue sea. He learns his way around the carrier as he picks up the gear he needs to fly. Nugget’s plane receives fuel in the air and engages in a practice dogfight. When the day’s exercises are over, he lands the aircraft safely aboard the carrier as a very yellow sun is setting. Nugget has had an eventful day and so have readers, who have shared this journey with him. Although there is a lot of unfamiliar terminology, kid friendly definitions and diagrams are given in sidebars with the text. This title, which is an excellent choice for would be aviators, communicates the excitement and adventure of a very exacting profession. The aviator’s alphabet, facts about carriers, and places to go for additional information are included at the back of the book. 2009, Walker Publishing Company, $16.99. Ages 5 to 10. Reviewer: Jeanne K. Pettenati, J.D. (Children’s Literature).
School and Library Visits: Newman shares her excitement for writing and hopes to inspire readers and writers of all ages to share their vision of the world.
- Assemblies. Newman’s interactive question/answer style incorporates readings, skits and demonstrations to talk about the writing process, research, revision, publication and various curriculum concepts that mesh with her books. All ages. 45 minutes.
- Small Group Read Aloud Fun. Lively interactive readings from Newman’s books include skits and demonstrations to get children involved. Throughout the reading, Newman shares fun production and illustration secrets. All Ages. 40 minutes.
- Close Encounters. The writing process comes alive during this question and answer session. Newman describes her research and revision practices, and the editorial process. Grades 2 up. 35 minutes.
- The Inside Scoop. A peek into the writing lives of famous children’s authors taken directly from Newman’s interviews with over 100 talented authors and illustrators. All ages. 30 minutes.
- Writers’ Workshops. Small groups of students join Newman for an in-depth look at writing, focusing on character, dialogue, setting or voice. Grades 4 up. 45 minutes.
- Additional Programs. Lunch with the author, book signings, evening school programs with parents and students.
Conferences: Newman’s talks have been featured at several conferences, including SCBWI; University of California, Davis; and California State University, Sacramento; and published in Children’s Writers’ and Illustrator’s Market.
- Strengthening the Connection Between Author and Reader
- Children’s Librarians Fuel the Imagination
- Writing for Magazines
- Secrets of the Perfect Interview
- 10 Truths About Writing for Children
- Mainstreaming the Graphic Novel
- So You Think You Want to Write for Children?
- First Page Manuscript Critique
Fees: $650 for all-day school visits; partial days pro-rated; conferences on a case-by-case basis.
To learn more about Patricia Newman and her publications please visit www.patriciamnewman.com.