Elkhart Public Library is excited to announce that best-selling children’s author Eric Litwin will kick off the 2018 Summer Reading program, “Reading Rocks.”
Litwin, writer of the original four “Pete the Cat” books, “The Nuts” and “Groovy Joe” will bring his unique music and story style to six Elkhart community elementary schools.
From May 15 to 17 Litwin will perform his unique storytelling style for every kindergarten through second grader in the ECS system thanks to the Elkhart Education Foundation and EPL.
According to Tara White, director of literacy for Elkhart Community Schools, having a live author performing for students is a way to bring books alive for young readers.
“One of the great things for kids in this is they really will get to experience the author – hear his voice, see him in person,” she said.
“It’s the curriculum standards coming to life, and I just love that. We all love to see student engagement, and this opportunity – bringing music and literacy together – is really great for our schools.”
For Litwin, the performances are a chance to begin the process of writing and editing his next books.
“They begin as performance pieces,” he said. “I have combined interactive storytelling elements with early literacy.”
Utilizing rhythm, rhyme with a limited vocabulary, sight words and movement, Litwin said his books encourage early readers to get excited and build confidence in their reading.
“I enter the story from any of those elements,” he said.
“The outcome is an awesome book that is fun to read and engaging.”
Often, Litwin likes to perform a couple of his published books before trying out a new book he is working on, using the performance and his audience’s reactions to help him shape the story and edit it.
From there he begins to shape the story.
“What is incredibly fun about this is that the children are a part of the process,” he said.
“No two audiences interact the same way, so I respond to their responding.
They are all uncharted territory; all of these things are shaped and evolved through the live performances.”
Litwin said he is working on a CD called “Classical for Kiddos” that adds lyrics to classical music that will act as an introduction to classical music for children and a new Groovy Joe book, “If You’re Groovy and You Know it Hug Your Friend,” which could both be out by the end of the year.