3 Question Interview - MICHELLE SCHAUB
I'm delighted to feature my friend Michelle Schaub on the blog today. Michelle's newest book, DREAM BIG, LITTLE SCIENTISTS, illustrated by Alice Potter, inspires young children to realize that we are all scientists. I loved learning more about Michelle's poetry, and I enjoy her blog, POETRY BOOST. Read on for Michelle's thoughts about stories . . . creativity . . . and connection, and entering poetry contests!
STORIES – Discuss the inspiration for your ideas and stories, and share the process about your latest projects.
When my own three children were little, we spent a lot of time outdoors, looking under rocks, collecting leaves, wading through streams. They loved learning about different animals and plants. We checked out stacks of nonfiction books from the library each week to fuel their curiosity. That early love of science stuck with them, and they are all now headed into STEM fields. That love stuck with me too, and when I started writing books for children, I was drawn to nature and science topics. With Dream Big, Little Scientists, I hope to inspire next generation of little scientists with the message that science is in everything, and anyone can become a scientist.
CREATIVITY -- How do you showcase your creative side through writing/illustrating and other pursuits?
My favorite medium to channel my creativity is poetry, whether I’m writing it or teaching it. I love the puzzle poetry presents: finding the right word, with the right texture, flavor, or sound, to fit in just the right spot. To keep me on my poetic toes, I look for contests and calls for submission on specific topics. This year, I participated in Madness Poetry, a contest held in March. In it, 64 poets compete head-to-head in pairs, with 36 hours to write a poem that contains a specific word. Classrooms and individuals around the country vote on the poem they like best. Winners progress to the next round. Anyone can participate in the voting by signing up at https://madnesspoetry.com/. I was thrilled to make it to the “elite 8” this year, and I look forward to competing again next year.
As a teacher, I use my creativity to make poetry accessible and fun for students. I love developing lessons to spark kids’ love of poetry. I share those lessons, as well as videos and mentor texts, on my blog POETRY BOOST.
CONNECTION -- How do you connect to your young readers through your writing/illustrating, and how do you stay connected to the KidLit community?
The pandemic has thrown everyone into new territory when it comes to staying connected. It’s so important, but also so challenging. I’m grateful to SCBWI and The Highlights Foundation for their creative efforts to find new ways to keep the writing community close. I’ve enjoyed participating in webinars that allow me to invite fellow writers into my living room through Zoom! In order to stay connected with readers remotely, my publisher, Charlesbridge, offered some help. Charlesbridge encouraged their authors to record videos in which they share content from their books. I had fun acting out some poems from my books Finding Treasure: A Collection of Collections and Fresh-Picked Poetry: A Day at the Farmers’ Market, and challenging viewers to “think like a scientist” with my reading of Dream Big, Little Scientists. Charlesbridge has posted their authors’ remote content at https://www.charlesbridge.com/pages/remote-author-content. I’m also hoping to participate with local bookstores on some virtual story times this summer.
Michelle Schaub is an award-winning children’s author and veteran teacher. Her most recent book, Dream Big, Little Scientists, was released this February. She is also the author of Finding Treasure: A Collection of Collections, an NCTE notable poetry book for 2020, and Fresh-Picked Poetry: A Day at the Farmers’ Market, recipient of the 2018 Growing Good Kids Award and 2019 Northern Lights Book Award. Michelle Schaub lives in the Chicago area where she enjoys hiking in nature, collecting words, and visiting her local farmers’ markets.
CONNECT WITH MICHELLE:
Blog: POETRY BOOST- www.michelleschaub.blogspot.com