Counting Little Geckos is one of J’s favorite books. We have been working on putting together a mini library of books with a Sonoran Desert theme and I thought it would be fun to share some of our favorites every now and then. I jumped at the chance to take J to hear Charline Profiri, a local author, read her book Counting Little Geckos at the Kirk-Bear Canyon Library. We both enjoyed the reading and J had the chance to get her book signed. I am honored that Charline Profiri took some time to answer a few questions, so we also have a mini interview to share!
Charline Profiri, a former teacher, lives in Tucson. She writes books, novels, stories and poems for children. Her poems, stories and articles have been published in Highlights for Children, High Five, Pockets and My Friend. She has two new books in the works. One is due out in early 2013. We can’t wait to add it to our growing book collection!
Here’s our interview. We even inspired a poem!
1. In the book Counting Little Geckos it is raining. Desert showers are certainly something special and monsoon season is a wonderful time of year. How would you describe an afternoon storm to somebody that has never experienced rain in the desert so that they can imagine it with all of their senses?
Afternoon Monsoon by Charline Profiri
Creosote scented air.
Critters scurry everywhere.
2. Delving into your teaching experience, what advice would you give parents so that they can instill the love of reading in their children?
Read! Parents it is vital that you make time to read to your children daily. It’s never too early to start. Enjoy this special time together. Make it fun. Visit the library weekly. Check out lots of books. Let them see you enjoying reading (not just on a phone or computer screen). Talk about books. Buy books!
When I taught first grade, it was easy to identify children who were read to. They had either already begun reading or were eager and ready to learn to read right away. Learning to read took much longer for children who had rarely been read to.
3. Can you tell us a little bit about your two new books that will be coming out soon?
I’d love to tell you about my new books. Thanks for asking!
Guess Who’s in the Desert is an interactive picture book of rhyming couplets with facts about desert critters. Children will try to guess the answer, and then turn the page to see if they were right. The gorgeous mixed media illustrations are by Susan Swan. The book will be available spring 2013, hopefully in time to debut at the Tucson Festival of Books.
Rain, Rain, Stay Today is a fun picture book collection of southwestern nursery rhymes. For example, The Itsy, Bitsy Spider becomes The Very Hairy Spider who climbs out his hole, not up a water spout. An illustrator has yet to be chosen, but the book is scheduled to debut spring 2014.
4. Lizards playing in the rain were your inspiration for Counting Little Geckos and we read that you have always enjoyed watching lizards. Have you had any interesting encounters with them lately?
The most interesting recent lizard encounter involved my dog. He caught a large lizard and its tail snapped off. While my dog chased the lizard around, I watched the tail wiggle and jump. I grabbed my camera, set it to video, and then went outside. I watched through the lens as the tail continued to wiggle for several minutes. I was eager to upload the video, but once inside discovered I’d forgotten to press the shutter!
5. What do you enjoy most about reading your book to children? Have you had any memorable moments that you will never forget?
Sharing my book with children is always fun. Their enthusiasm and joy is contagious. I love pausing and letting children shout out the words that complete the rhymes. They beam when I reply, “You’re so smart!”
Most memorable are pictures of children engrossed in the book. Also, during a school visit, a second grade boy said, “Counting Little Geckos is my favorite book.” His teacher later explained that it was the first book he had learned to read and he read it repeatedly.
You can read a previous interview on Imagiverse.org.
Guess Who’s in the Desert will be out in early 2013. Look for it at the Tucson Festival of Books.
Charline Profiri will be at the Children’s Museum Tucson for their Love of Literacy Weekend this Saturday, September 22nd from 12:30 to 1:00 with her book Counting Little Geckos. If you’re in the area, stop by and say hello! I’m sure your little ones will love the book just as much as J does!