By ReadTheSpirit magazine
Candice Tobola, the librarian at St. Lawrence School in Utica, Michigan, saw a presentation on the new interactive book Sadie Sees Trouble at a local library. She immediately understood the value of this book’s message and invited author Linda Jarkey and illustrator Julie Jarkey-Kozlowski to visit her school.
“I miss my Penny!” moans the heartbroken, good-as-gold dog Sadie. That’s the moment in the middle of the new picture book, Sadie Sees Trouble, when many readers are hooked on this story—hoping that this lovable dog will somehow regain the attention of her little girl Penny.
The problem is: Penny is so fascinated with her high-tech tablet that she is giving a cold shoulder to her beloved Sadie! Spending too much time with digital screens is a problem for millions of children nationwide, educators say.
Last week, the Pew Research Center published a 20-page study on the obsession with smart phones and other digital screens among American teens, a group old enough for Pew to interview. The assumption is that younger children already are following their older brothers’ and sisters’ examples. Pew reported: “Some 45% of teens say they use the internet ‘almost constantly,’ a figure that has nearly doubled from the 24% who said this in our 2014-2015 survey. Another 44% say they go online several times a day, meaning roughly nine-in-ten teens go online at least multiple times per day.”
The Jarkey sisters are veteran educators who engage children in a reading of the book. They also organize art projects that invite kids to color with things they could find at home—but might never dare to use on paper! At St. Lawrence, kids colored a Sadie bookmark with ingredients including mustard, strawberries, blueberries, beet juice and soy sauce.
Tobola said the event was valuable on a number of levels—including vocational inspiration. This was an opportunity for her students to meet both a published author and an illustrator.
The day focused on second and third graders with parent volunteers to keep things running smoothly. A follow-up activity was arranged for the next week with art teacher Brittney Mattson.
A pre-order form allowed autographed books to be delivered on presentation day.
One second grader asked Linda to sign his bookmark saying, “You are my favorite dog-story author, ever!”
Care to read more?
Want to organize an appearance—perhaps a workshop or training event or retreat—with the Jarkeys? Remember http://SadieSeesTrouble.com for all the resources you’ll need to get involved.
The creators of this book invite you to turn your kitchen into a studio. One of the unique offerings with this book are six black-and-white illustrations from the book that you can download for free at http://SadieSeesTrouble.com to color with children. As a kick-start to your own creative ideas, the download page provides a list of all of the materials Linda used in illustrating the book. Linda and Julie invite you to discover your own color combinations and let them know about your discoveries! The instructions are on the download page.