Last night I stayed up to watch Barack Obama as he claimed his victory in the U. S. presidential race. I wanted to be a part of this important time in history. I was not disappointed. His speech was inspiring– hope-filled. A unifying speech for all of our people.
I had the great opportunity this June, while attending a writing workshop in Arkansas at Harding University, to meet Nikki Grimes and to see the galley version of a picture book biography that she had just completed. It was BARACK OBAMA: Son of Promise, Child of Hope.
Ms. Grimes explained how she had been approached to write the book in a bit of a hurry–to be completed and ready for publication by September. She, of course, had many other works-in-progress demanding her time as well. Could she squeeze in one more book? A book that must be completed in three weeks time?
Three weeks to research, write, edit, revise, and complete–in order to have the book submitted to the illustrator in time.
Even though her other projects tugged her in the opposite direction, Ms. Grimes felt called to walk down President-elect Obama’s road. She would do the research. She would piece together word snapshots of his life, like a tenderly stitched quilt. She would help share his story with young readers, eager to learn of this remarkable man. I’m very glad she did.
Click on the link if you’d like to read Ms. Grimes’ tips for writing poetry.