Today’s Fun Friday is a visit from Angela Shelton on her WOW! blog tour for her newest book, The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton. Which I’m giving away to one of you. Wheee!
But I also promised you dinosaurs, and so, without further ado, here’s Angela to share…
How Dinosaurs Affected My Writing
Once upon a time in a classroom like every other one in the country…
I was sitting with a group of children. We were discussing what they were learning and what they liked the most about it.
I was surprised by where all the conversations lead to – DINOSAURS!
The adoration was not just a boy thing either. The girls were equally knowledgeable about all different types of creatures that make up the wide subject of DINOSAURS!
The kids knew all about each kind of “saurus”, from when they lived, when they died, what they ate, to if they were fighters or not.
Dinosaurs Inspire Big Words
The kids pronounced all the various kinds of dinosaurs perfectly! While I tried to wind the terms around my tongue, the kids were already telling me about new groups of dinosaurs.
Of course if I asked for more clarification or a pronunciation explanation I got an eye roll and a sigh. How dare I not know all there is to know about these wonderful creatures?
Kids Are Smarter Than You Think
The young bright faces were glowing with intrigue as they talked about the creatures they knew so much about. They looked like a group of young adventurers, back from yet another discovery.
What intrigued me most was how the children had no fear of the intimidating words. Even the smaller kids who had trouble pronouncing some of the types (which made me fell a bit better), would struggle through it, sound the words out, and even learn to spell it until they too had the information down pat.
I was impressed.
Different Types of The-Saurus
I started wondering if the kids had so much fun learning about these amazing creatures would they work that hard to learn larger vocabulary in general?
That first group I spoke to was 2nd and 3rd graders. I went on to speak to younger and older kids, asking them about their knowledge of dinosaurs.
When I discovered that the majority of kids I spoke to knew everything there was to know (at least far more than I did!) about dinosaurs, a light bulb went off in my brain.
I tried out some rare words on a few kids to see if it would confuse or intrigue them.
Do you know what Felicificative means?
Fe-li-ci-fi-ca-tive – sound it out with a giggle.
It means tending to be happy. I’m very fe-li-ci-fi-ca-tive – aren’t you?
I thought I might be on to something… I wanted to write for smart readers, precocious kids, and clever adults.
Rare, Large, and Hard Words A-Z
I was so inspired by dinosaurs and the huge words that trample along with them, that I wrote The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton with large, rare, and sometimes very hard words to pronounce.
When a few fearful adults asked me if kids could handle hard vocabulary like that, I asked them if they knew which dinosaur was which. The point is that kids can learn, and sometimes learn quicker than adults.
I made sure the words in Tilda Pinkerton covered all the letters of the alphabet too.
Here are some of them.
Some of those are some real mouthfuls – I know!
What do they all mean? Read The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton! Read the book out loud to your kids and see how much your tongue twists. Then ask them if they can pronounce them. I bet they can do it better than you can!
How many rare words do you know?
Most of the rare words in The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton are used to describe the personalities of the characters, like Aaron Arachnophobia is the spider afraid of spiders!
Felicificative is one of my favorites. Fiona and Fredrick Felicificative fit their name perfectly – they are always smiling and full of happiness – just like I wanted you to be while reading Tilda Pinkerton.
Angela Shelton is an author, actor, and public speaker. She has been writing since she was eight years old. Her first novel was adapted into the movie Tumbleweeds. Angela won a regional Emmy award for her portrayal of Safe Side Superchick in The Safe Side video series created by Baby Einstein’s Julie Clark. After living in Los Angeles for over a decade, Angela left the big city for a one-light country town to marry her first love and fulfill her dream of writing books in a barn house.
Angela has incorporated the character of Tilda Pinkerton into an entire line of book projects, each geared towards a different age group in order to help kids, teachers, and parents enjoy learning and reading more.
Twitter – https://twitter.com/angelashelton
There you have Fun Friday, as promised. I love the idea of throwing really big and interesting words into a kid’s book. Because as Angela said, kids are smarter than you think, and I suspect that kids will read this book and learn a couple favorite big words and probably drive their friends and families and teachers crazy, spouting off said big words at every opportunity. But wouldn’t you rather a kid annoy you for knowing big words than throwing peas across the dining room table?
I’m just saying. I’m also saying that if you want to win The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton (just in time for holiday gift-giving!), leave me a comment (I’ll draw a name on Friday, December 14th so you can get the book by Christmas).
Oh! And leave me your favorite big word. (I learned “bellicose” when I was a kid and for whatever reason, loved that word. I don’t often get to use it now, but growing up with three brothers, I gave bellicose a real work-out. So yeah, I was annoying. But I did not throw peas across the dining room table.)