Story time with Katie & Jerry

It’s story time for the youngsters over the next couple of weeks, with little chickens thrown in for good luck.

Authors Katie and Jerry Davis arrive on-island armed with a fun, interactive presentation, including a drawing demonstration, to be held at Books & Books on 18 and 21 May at 10.30am. There will also be two presentations held at Hollywood Theatres on Friday, 20 May, aimed toward kindergarten students, Katie tells Weekender.

“Our presentations are for kids of all ages, though Little Chicken’s Big Day is for kids up to about first grade. We have lots of fun stuff planned for everywhere we’re going on Grand Cayman, and we have no intention of preserving our dignity.

“Since we wrote it together, we’ll read it together in a kind of readers’ theatre, which is a lot more fun than a simple reading of the book. After that we’ll lead an interactive storytelling and drawing session, asking volunteers to make expressions that Katie will then draw on the characters in the story they’re creating together.”

If the authors’ names seem familiar, it’s because Katie as author and illustrator has published nine books and is a regular TV pundit in Connecticut. Husband Jerry, meanwhile, is a producer of animated movies and has worked on blockbusters like Ice Age, Robots, Iron Giant, Space Chimps and Toy Story.

I hear you cluckin’

The new book, Little Chicken’s Big Day, was inspired by a certain character at Jerry’s work, says Katie.

“Jerry had a guy who worked for him who, whenever he was asked where the work was for the next meeting, would say, ‘Yeah, yeah, I hear you cluckin’ Big Chicken.’ For years, Jerry begged me to write a children’s book based on that phrase. I was always too busy so he finally wrote it himself! I think he did a better job than I would have!

“Another thing that added to the heart of the characters is Jerry’s vivid memory of being the lost little kid whose mom gets paged in Macy’s. Now as parents we’ve drawn on our own experiences with kids who have attitude at times, yet still need us as parents. And it’s the latter that makes the former so worthwhile.”

Katie describes it as “the ultimate cuddle book,” which every parent and kid can relate to.

“For this plucky little chick, the world is an amazing place. So when his mama hurries him along on a big day out, Little Chicken falls behind. Soon he finds himself feeling a tiny bit lost and a tad less plucky. Happily, his mama is always just a cluck away!

“It’s a heartwarming story of family, of parent-child love, but what we both appreciate is that it’s sweet without being too sappy. The feisty attitude of Little Chicken helps with that, too.”

Both presentations will include readings of the couple’s latest book, Little Chicken’s Big Day, and another of Katie’s beloved picture books, Kindergarten Rocks!

Drawing and crafts

Katie, who is also an illustrator, will entertain the kids with a drawing demonstration and there will be fun crafts for everyone to enjoy. Every child will leave with a temporary Little Chicken tattoo as a souvenir to remember this special occasion.

The story time events are free and open to the public on Wednesday, 18 May, and Saturday, 21 May, at 10.30am.

Story Time Tour is a Books & Books initiative in which children’s authors will participate in the store’s popular Wednesday Story Time and Saturday Story & Craft Time. These weekly events draw large crowds of book-loving children and their parents, and the addition of author visits will add a new and exciting element to an already successful mix of storytelling, sing-a-longs and crafts.