Michigan author Lisa Rivard has a tremendous amount of experience with children and education, and has utilized her skill set in developing her latest children's book, I Am Stumped!.
I Am Stumped! discusses the dynamic of friendships and demonstrates how children can communicate to resolve conflicts among friends. It's a great lesson, demonstrated in a fashion that kids can understand. Plus, there are some great conversation pieces at the end of I Am Stumped! with a list of Discussion Questions. The Discussion Questions in I Am Stumped! go much farther than basic yes or no questions and include page numbers that depict the page content that covers that question.
I had the opportunity to interview Lisa to find out more about I Am Stumped and her life as a Michigan author. Here's the interview:
Oakland County Moms: At what age and how did you first realize you wanted to be a children's book author?
Author Lisa Rivard: I have always loved to read children’s picture books. My parents and grandparents read me Dr. Seuss books at an early age. As an elementary school teacher and principal, I was reintroduced to my love of children’s books. From then on, nothing was going to stop me from getting published in that market. It has been my lifelong dream to become an author of children’s books.
Oakland County Moms: How has your experience working with children and as a Language Arts Consultant influenced I Am Stumped!?
Author Lisa Rivard: Currently, I am employed as a Language Arts Consultant and assist regional schools in developing effective literacy plans. When I taught elementary school, I wrote stories, songs, and plays with the kids. This accomplishment combines my love of teaching with my love of children's literature.
As far as the topic of this book, I have a soft spot in my heart for kids that are often left out. As a former principal and teacher, it always broke my heart to see kids that sat alone in the lunchroom or on the playground. I took matters like this seriously. The anti-bullying message must begin at a younger age. It is my hope that this book will encourage children to have the confidence to solve problems on their own or to ask for help from a trusted adult, if needed. I also hope this book demonstrates to all readers that as a society, we must be kinder to and more empathetic of all.
Oakland County Moms: You have a nice mix of working with kids and being an author of children's books. Do you see yourself continuing on this path, or committing to either 100%?
Author Lisa Rivard: Thank you. I enjoy being able to manage both. Books send very powerful messages to kids. My favorite moments are when I get to visit schools, libraries, and events and discuss the ideas within the story. It’s amazing how every child can relate to this topic. I love when I can engage the kids in deep conversations about being empathetic to one another.
OaklandCountyMoms: I love the discussion questions at the end of I Am Stumped!. How did you think to include these and how do you feel they help the reading process?
Author Lisa Rivard: The discussion questions help adults in having those conversations with kids that are meaningful. It allows a parent or teacher to dig deeper with the text and really analyze the important issues related to the topic.
The discussion questions also help with oral language development. Oral language involves both listening and speaking, and a discussion helps to build social interaction in the form of a conversation. Oral language acquisition lays the foundation for kids to read and write.
You can purchase Lisa Rivard's book, I Am Stumped! here.
About Lisa Rivard
Lisa Rivard was raised in New Baltimore, Michigan. Throughout her life she has enjoyed working with children in many different capacities including as a teacher, coach, and principal. She earned her degree from Michigan State University and her administration degree from Oakland University. Most recently Lisa completed a PhD in instructional technology from Wayne State University. Currently, Lisa is employed as a Language Arts Consultant and assists regional schools in developing effective literacy plans.
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