Second-graders at Nayatt School learned a little bit about making books from a Barrington author and illustrator last week in the library. They learned especially about inspiration.
Anika Denise and Christopher Denise tried to demystify how books are made for the children. The husband-and-wife couple talked about what authors and illustrators do. They talked about how an idea becomes a book. They talked about the elements a good story should have.
Inspiration was a focal point of the couple’s presentation.
“Mother Goose is one of my inspirations,” said Anika. “So was a hand-made card Chris made for me. It had pigs on it.”
Anika used that inspiration to write her first book, “Pigs Love Potatoes,” she said.
Christopher talked about using a castle three miles from his home in Ireland, where he lived for a few years as a child, as inspiration for a cover of a book.
He also said he is constantly inspired “by childhood sites and experiences.”
Anika also told the children: “Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.” She also said “every story needs detail and a problem to overcome.”
The couple travels all over Rhode Island talking about writing and illustrating to children, the couple said. They will be reading at the Summer Reading Kickoff at the Providence Children’s Museum on Friday, for instance.