Since my retirement from teaching a few years ago, I decided to live my dream and write children’s stories. Of course, I had been writing for years, but now I had the time to learn more, improve my skills, and write, write, write.
I’d had some small success with a few books published, and was surprised to hear from a lovely publisher I had sent a submission to. They asked me if I would like to try my hand at Edutainment stories. We agreed on a few test samples and the publisher liked my work!
Being both a teacher and a writer is, I think, a bonus for these types of books. Teachers always try to make the facts easier to learn and understand – and, that’s what Edutainment is all about. It involves telling a story around information that has to be transmitted in a way that makes learning more fun.
My biggest challenge was to write a small series about dinosaurs. When my publisher asked, I had to laugh! First of all, I really don’t know much, well, anything, about dinosaurs.
So, I did what any sensible writer and grandmother would do – I asked my grandchildren! I was very surprised by what I heard. You can’t fool kids They actually know a lot about dinosaurs, and love them.
So ‘brainstorming with kids’, and a lot of Internet and library research about dinosaurs resulted in a small series.
I still ask myself why are dinosaurs so fascinating? They lived so long ago, and they were huge, and that’s the key, I think. Nobody has ever seen them but they did exist so they are not fantasy creatures. And, of course, they have such long and amazing names. Most three year-olds can say “Tyrannosaurus Rex” before they can say spaghetti bolognese. Bad example, I know.
My stories involve four friends listening to a professor explaining things about dinosaurs. Then, the children later dream about an encounter with their favorite dino! The books were launched at a recent book fair and children liked the stories!
Of course, I still write other children’s stories, I am working with a new Irish publisher on a Color Witch series – same theory, children like witches, too. The Pink Witch has already been published and The Rainbow Witch is nearly finished.
My little adventure in the world of Edutainment is great fun – and I’ve learned an awful lot! I can now manage a dinosaur quiz any day – but probably not against a 4-year-old!
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Andrea is a retired English teacher. At present she is having fun writing her Edutainment stories for a bigger UK publisher. Among others “Zoo Island” and the “Dinosaur” series. Her “Grumpy Princess” is also coming out in spring, with an Irish publisher.
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