With all the queasiness and hours upon hours of prep that each of these presentations represent, I have been buoyed up by the creativity that pours forth from kids. All they need is the seed of an idea and they just run with it. In this instance, the mother of one girl sent the picture (lower left corner) of her actually using the lantern she made later that night. This lovely parent sent this picture after the presentation to the librarian who then sent it to me. The background for this entire image is a photo of the shadows that all the lanterns her children made threw against the ceiling that night.
Thank you to the incredibly creative moms who support their kids in attending these events. One mother, Judy, went to several book stores looking for my book, and brought her 10 year-old daughter, who is also both scientifically and creatively-inclined, to meet me. Another mother, while showing her daughter's lantern to me, explained that she had drawn Centipede Dragon onto its top border. It’s experiences like these that remind me why this is all worth it.