A Whimsical Reading for Young Minds
May 12, 2023 The atmosphere at Fallsvale School in Forest Falls was electric with excitement. Author Richard Oshen and his trusty four-legged companion, Montana, made their way to the front of Miss. Susan Ilies’ kindergarten through 1st-grade class for the debut reading of: THE ADVENTURES OF PETE THE SQUIRREL – IN THE HOUSE
The children listened in awe as the author read aloud about Pete’s daring adventure — sneaking into Andy’s house in search of mouthwatering walnuts. BUT, when Andy discovered Pete gobbling up walnuts on the kitchen table, Pete gets scared, runs for his life, gets lost inside the house, and can’t find his way back home.
Tracing Finger Mazes and Exploring Lessons in Friendship
Now it was the children’s turn to help. Children traced their finger over the maze in the book to help Pete find his way back home. Each child eagerly participated, relishing the opportunity to contribute to Pete’s safe return. In the end, Pete finds his way home and a endearing friendship blossoms.
In Miss Trisha Carrasquillo’s 2nd to 4th-grade class, a different aspect of Pete’s story caught the students’ attention. They were eager to explore the deeper themes within the narrative. They pondered Andy and his mom’s problem-solving skills, discovering the importance of empathy and understanding. Pete’s ability to apologize for the mess he caused resonated deeply, and the students marveled at Andy’s acceptance without hesitation, witnessing the power of forgiveness and the beauty of friendship.
Unveiling the Creative Process for Budding Writers
For the students in Miss Molly Anderson’s 5th to 8th-grade class, Richard had a special treat in store.
He took the opportunity to present a talk he aptly named “The Book Process.” Giving the eager students a fascinating peek through the step-by-step development of the story, from his creative process to collaborating with the talented illustrator, Uliana Barabash, and finally, how to navigate through the maze of e-publishing.
The highlight of this presentation was undoubtedly the question-and-answer session. The students, inspired by Richard’s insights and eager to unleash their own creativity, seized the opportunity to engage in a vibrant exchange of ideas. With pens poised and minds brimming with imagination, they felt emboldened to pursue their own writing endeavors.
Igniting Dreams and Planting Seeds of Inspiration
The visit of Pete The Squirrel’s creator, Richard Oshen, to Fallsvale School left an indelible mark on the students and teachers alike. Through reading and thought-provoking discussions, Richard not only entertained but also ignited a passion for storytelling and creativity.
Pete’s adventures served as a parable for important life lessons—teaching the youngest children about the value of perseverance and problem-solving, while revealing the power of forgiveness and friendship to the older students. Additionally, Richard’s transparent sharing of his creative process invigorated the minds of aspiring writers, encouraging them to embark on their own literary journeys.
Photograph credit: Sandy Wood, 8am Photography