Sunday, July 6, 2014

Two New Friends ~ Elizabeth & Henny

This past week I had the privilege of attending the American Library Association's Annual Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. I will post pictures and more information about the experience later in the week. One of the most exciting meetings I had was with a friend I had not had the opportunity to meet. Elizabeth Rose Stanton and I became virtual friends when she started following this blog. We then found each other on Facebook and conversed back and forth. I intentionally made an appointment on my phone so I would not miss the chance to meet her. The problem, when you change time zones, the appointment time set in one time zone adapts to the time zone you fly into. I was two hours early to her signing, but had a conflict for the actual time she was signing. Well since we were both in Vegas I thought I would try to connect the next day.

Toni Yuly, Elizabeth Rose Stanton, & Kristi K. Betts
at the American Library Association Conference,
Las Vegas, Nevada - June 30, 2014
We texted each other and made a plan to meet in front of Starbucks. I was weighed down by all of the items I was carting to the Post Office, but as soon as she spotted me she started calling my name. I was so surprised she knew me from a distance, but I guess she had seen my picture and recognized me. It was such a thrill to finally meet Elizabeth in person. She even introduced me to one of her author friends, Toni Yuly, author of Early Bird.
Early Bird
by Toni Yuly
Elizabeth was so very kind. She gave me a copy of her wonderful book Henny, a bookmark and postcard, as well as a plastic chicken key chain. I told her as soon as I got home I would write a review of her book, so here it is Elizabeth. I hope it puts a smile on your face.

by Elizabeth Rose Stanton
Henny by Elizabeth Rose Stanton is a beautifully illustrated story about a chicken with arms who must learn how to overcome being different. After reading this delightful story I could hear the music for the song, "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" (originally written for the film Monty Python's Life of Brian in 1979, but featured two times during the Broadway musical Spamalot, which is how I know the song) playing in my head. I think Henny does exactly what the song suggests. She realizes she is different, but she chooses to be happy and look at all of the various things she is capable of doing instead of the ways in which she is not like all of the other chickens. Henny is laughed at by the other animals on the farm. She begins to worry about how to live with arms instead of wings. While walking behind the farmer one day, an egg falls out of his basket. Henny is able to reach up and grab the egg and keep it from falling since she has arms. It is at this point Henny begins to realize all of the wonderful things she can do because of her arms. She can carry a purse, an umbrella, and maybe even fly (an airplane).

I believe Henny's message is a very important one for all of us ~ young, old, fat, thin, abled, or disabled. We need to make the most of the gifts we are given and be appreciative. Each day we see people and we make judgments about them based on appearance. We don't know the challenges they face, but we make assumptions about their abilities. We can feel sorry for ourselves or we can turn our situation around and choose to be positive, making the best of any situation put in front of us in life.

I look forward to sharing this wonderful story with my students during this next school year. I know they will come to love Henny as much as I love her. It will also be exciting to share my personal story of meeting Elizabeth. They are always amazed to learn about the authors and illustrators of books I share. Like me, my students believe authors and illustrators are rock stars.

To comply with new guidelines introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, Elizabeth Rose Stanton has provided a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. My review is in no way influenced by the author or publishing company and is solely my opinion.

1 comment:

Elizabeth Rose Stanton said...

Henny is so happy you are a fan, Kristi! She loves what you wrote about her :) Bwwaakkk (that's chicken-talk for THANKS!).