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Kidsday: Our art teacher is an illustrator

Mrs. Nora Tapp Franzese is our school art teacher. She also illustrates books. She has illustrated three: "Miss Sugar Crumb's Magic Kitchen" and "Miss Sugar Crumb's Cooking Lesson" by Malinda Mitchell, and "I Want to Learn to Dance" by Susan Wigden.

We asked her a lot of questions and learned a lot about how long it takes to make a book and how picture books are created. She explained it took her one year to illustrate each book.

Her idea for the animals in "I Want to Learn to Dance" came after reading the manuscript. She decided to combine animal and human parts and characteristics. She worked on her illustrations mostly over the summer.

She has a passion for art and is inspired by the kids she works with. She loves telling stories with pictures.

Mrs. Franzese is working on another book for another author, and she is now writing her own book, which she will illustrate! Her book has taken her eight years to create between other projects and a busy school schedule.

The thrill of white-water rafting

Last year, I went on the most exciting vacation. I went white-water rafting on the Sacandaga River, which is near Lake George in upstate New York.

At first, I did not want to go; but then I went, and it was amazing. The rafting trip was about four hours long, and there were three sets of rapids. They were not really dangerous, so even kids my age can have an adventure and still feel safe.

There were eight people on our raft and about eight rafts in our group. We even had a competition among the rafts, having a water gun battle. Later in the trip, we went swimming, but the water was so cold!

At the end, we left and went back to the car. But I learned to try something new because you might like it.

If you head up that way, check out the website:

--Kidsday Reporter Alyssa Madara

CLASS OF THE WEEK: Jennifer Hempfling's fifth-grade class, CANAAN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, Patchogue

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