LOUISVILLE — Louisville students turned many educational pages during a recent visit with a world-renowned author.
Louisville Elementary School children welcomed Julia Cook to campus for a full day of literature-based learning. Cook has written dozens of children’s books over the past decade. She has gained national recognition for her work and has presented at hundreds of schools across the United States.
Linda Allen, a counselor at Louisville Elementary School, said students, teachers and staff members were thrilled with Cook’s visit. She said Cook took part in friendly conversations that had a noticeable impact on children in classrooms.
“Many students have said that having an author visit was great,” Allen said.
Cook is a former school counselor and teacher who decided to venture into the world of children’s literature. She now travels coast to coast to encourage students and educators to become lifelong problem solvers. Allen said it helped Cook write many books with positive messages.
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“Julia takes the best research and creatively translates it into ‘children’s language’ that is both entertaining and engaging,” Allen said. “Julia has the innate ability to enter a child’s worldview through picture books, giving children both the ‘what to say’ and the ‘how to say it’.”
Cook spent the morning meeting with kindergarten, first and second graders. She read some of her books to them and talked about many topics they contained. She then repeated the activities with students in grades 3 to 5.
Cook presented his knowledge of writing to students in small groups during the afternoon. She first met with second and third graders to discuss how she takes an initial idea and turns it into a complete picture book. The students asked her questions about her books, her life, her family and her dogs during her visit with them.
Cook spent time with fourth and fifth graders in the late afternoon. Allen said the kids put on big smiles as they learned many of Cook’s writing and storytelling techniques.
“With these students and teachers, she showed how to pitch a writing idea and make it more interesting to a reader,” Allen said. “Students interacted to build a group story on the board. She also answered any questions they had about the writing process, time spent making a book, and other general topics.
Allen said students and staff members were interested to learn how Cook changed her career from classroom teacher to children’s author. Cook told them that she had tried many years ago to come up with an effective story to teach her students the difference between telling and telling. She couldn’t find a children’s book dealing with the subject, so she decided to write her own book, which she titled “A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue”.
Cook now has nearly 100 book titles to his name. Over the past decade, she has published bestselling manuscripts with Boys Town Press, the Centers for Disease Control, and the National Center for Youth Issues.
Many national organizations have endorsed Cook for his storytelling abilities. Some of these groups include the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association, Childwatch of North America, USA Volleyball, the CDC, and the Alaska Department of Education.
Cook received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Association of Educational Publishers. She also earned recognition from The Mom’s Choice Award and the National Parenting Center Seal of Approval.
Her books focus on a variety of topics children encounter both inside and outside of school. Some of them include anger management, taking responsibility, interrupting, lying, depression, autism, appreciating differences between others, anxiety, video game addiction, building friendships, kindergarten readiness, positive attitude, playground issues, and accepting help.