We chose the pig face and the owl as a tribute to the new characters in book 3, but as one participant astutely pointed out, “Next time can we make an origami dragon?” While an origami dragon does exist, it involved far too many steps for a 20’ activity. Therefore, I created this easy Centipede Dragon garland (go to: https://centipededragon.weebly.com/crafts.html to download the template and instructions). This is a great indoor activity for kids, and an opportunity to use up wrapping paper scraps for the chain links to boot! Or, how about a newsy Centipede Dragon made from magazine pages? Plain paper can also be decorated or written upon: challenge your kids to make a link for each person who has been out there working throughout the pandemic: the grocery store clerk who’s bagging your groceries; the postman/postwoman; the restaurant workers; the ER doctors and nurses; the janitors and support staff, anyone who has had to go to their workplaces to get paid.
Focus group testing is an important part of the writing/illustrating process. As creators, we can lose objectivity, and furthermore familiarity breeds accolades that might not be warranted! Thus, bringing in voices, particularly in the age demographic you are targeting, is fundamental to gauging your success in relaying your story in both words and pictures. Once again during this process, I received invaluable feedback and have already implemented it in the book.
I can’t also NOT mention my adult focus group participants: my coerced friends who gallantly stepped up and told me what THEY thought as well!
In closing, my humbled thanks to all who believe in my characters and my stories. I can’t even begin to express what that means to me.