WOOD-RIDGE, NJ - A Wood-Ridge children's author visited Catherine E. Doyle School to share her latest book and help inspire students to use their imagination and tell their own stories. 

Principal Anthony Albro noted it was "World Read ALoud Day," saying that the students can read aloud to anyone, a parent, sibling, pet, or even a stuffed animal. He introduced author Michele McAvoy whose latest book, "Cookie and Milk" was recently published. The book is the tale about two girls who are opposites that are best friends. 

McAvoy's visit included a slide presentation showing her creative process in writing a book, including Imagination, Inspiration, and Creation. There was also an interactive portion where she also guided the children to help them create their own stories. 

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"Kids have the best imagination," she told them. "So anyone who has an imagination can write a story...even you."

She explained that in picture books characters can have any types of traits or super powers. And by using their imagination, the students can write their own stories.

"Kids have the most spectacular imagination, even more than us grownups," she said. The students, with guidance from their teachers, were to list two super powers for their story.

The next part of the story writing process was Inspiration, drawing from real life things, events, or people who were important to them. McAvoy said her inspiration for her new book was her best friend, and, while they were total opposites, were best friends, as well as her brother. She then encouraged the students to write down two people in their lives who inspire them.

McAvoy then read the book to the students, that showed the differences in the characters - one was athletic and brave, while the other excelled at science, math and engineering. And despite being opposites, they were best friends. She also explained that her characters' super powers were inspired by real life women astronauts, scientists, surfers and pilots. From there the students were to create two characters inspired by those previously noted, either in writing or drawing, each with one of the super powers previously listed.

McAvoy later signed copies of her book for students. She held two sessions for the students at Doyle School. She is scheduled to visit a school in Lodi during Read Across America Week.

For additional information on children's author Michele McAvoy and her books, visit her website Michele McAvoy Children's Book Author.



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