Buffaloes, Baseball and Books

Pictured with children's book author Audrey Vernick are (left to righ) front row third graders Andrew Gansley and Brianna Lobo, and fourth graders Aidan Dickson, Owen Dickson and James Seery; and back row Jefferson School Principal Tim Ayers, Librarian and Media Specialist Kate Berkman, fourth grader Dylan Coyle, Vernick, and fourth graders Kateryna Makarenko and Zakir Blucher. Credits: Stacey Layton

WEST CALDWELL, NJ - On March 4, students at Jefferson School, West Caldwell, welcomed Audrey Vernick, author of more than ten children’s books, including “Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten?”, “She Loved Baseball” and “Brothers at Bat.” In addition to writing for children, Vernick has published more than a dozen short stories for adults in a variety of magazines and literally journals. The New Jersey State Council of the Arts has honored her twice with its prestigious fiction fellowship.

During Vernick’s visit to Jefferson School, she shared her books and stories with readers and aspiring writers in kindergarten through fifth grade. “I enjoyed visiting with the students at Jefferson School and shining a light on the mysteries of writing and publishing,” Vernick said. “Because my books include fiction and non-fiction, I was able to address a range of topics that aligned with the curriculum the students are already studying in school.”

Employing a variety of high-energy, interactive programs, Vernick spoke about her own experiences, with a focus on where she finds her stories and where students might find their own stories to tell. She also spoke about her tactics for brainstorming ideas and how she incorporates research and lots of revision in each of her projects. The fifth grade was able to participate in a writer’s workshop where they worked on “thinking like a writer.”

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