Melanie's Elementary School Visit
Melanie had GREAT energy and was very kind and relatable to the children. The message of inspiration and walking with ideas were accessible and powerful. We gained a love of watercolor illustrations and working with the words, rhythm, and rhyme of poetry! Keep up the great work! Keep bringing the passion of poetry and illustrating to young people.
-- Anonymous - 05/01/2017
Melanie's Author Presentation to our school
I liked how you encouraged students to try and not just at poetry--stories, songs, art! I liked how you put simple words on your easel paper to focus on. We left with excitement to try writing poetry, which we went back and did. My students were so excited and proud to write a poem. You did a very nice job and I heard lots of good comments! Hurrah for you! :)
-- Anonymous - 05/01/2017
Melanie's talk to our first grade class
The presentation was the perfect length of time for 1st grade. My own child really liked the presentation. It also sparked her interest in poetry. She read from the book throughout the weekend.
-- Anonymous - 05/01/2017
"What a lovely book"
What a lovely book. Simple and yet deeply moving, and the artwork accompanies it perfectly. Less is more in Melanie Zwegers' world of children's verse, and it all works together seamlessly. I am a parent of a daughter, Julia, and she grew up on "A Child's Garden of Verses", by RL Stevenson, as well as other wonderful old-world, wise and sweet (but never precious or condescending)works and poems. As did my siblings and I before her. This book recaptures the beauty and simplicity and spirit of it all. Ms Zwegers has real talents, both literary and artistic, and they are on full display, here. It's a gift.
-- Chris A - 03/26/2015
Into the Garden School Presentations
Melanie's presentations to Emerson students were delightful. Her enthusiasm and warmth were contagious, and she judged her audience well, skillfully shifting her tone and message depending on the age group - playful with little ones, offering more serious, substantial responses to middle schoolers. Her graceful, spritely poems are accompanied by gem-like illustrations. What talent!
-- Peggy Wilson, Assistant Head of School - 03/25/2015
On Reading Her Poetry and Teaching
When Melanie visited my classroom she created an atmosphere of wonder and delight as the kids (and I-the teacher!!!) sat spellbound visualizing the beautiful images evoked by Melanie's poetry. Melanie also has a very special charm in the way she teaches. After 40 years of teaching experience, I can plainly see that Melanie is a natural born teacher. She had all of us in the palm of her hands. Not only is she a very special person, but she is so talented in many ways. best of luck on your first published poetry book, Melanie. I am very proud of you!
-- Joyce, Teacher - 03/23/2015
"It was a wonderful treat to have Melanie visit our school and share her talents and enthusiasm with us."
Melanie Zwegers has not only written and illustrated a beautiful book that will be cherished by families for years to come, she has a way of presenting it to school children in a way that makes them want to hold it, read it, and own it. It was a sure sign that she had done a great job when children came to me for days afterwards asking if they could please buy a book and parents happily brought me orders as well. What impressed me most was how Melanie changed her talk for different grade levels but never once talked down to any of them. She talked to students in kindergarten and first grade then easily switched gears to keep the attention of a crowd of sixth and seventh graders. Taking questions happily, Melanie responded with a smile and an answer to even the wildest questions and then directed the students back to topic at hand. Reading her poems was interspersed with information on her inspiration and the patience that resulted in the poems and the lovely illustrations. The kids loved her. I loved her, too. It was a wonderful treat to have Melanie visit our school and share her talents and enthusiasm with us.
-- Linda L, Librarian - 03/23/2015
Into The Garden
I happened upon Ms. Zwegers at Brewed Awakenings, in Saline, this morning as she was speaking to an employee of the coffee shop. I inquired about her book and after quickly reading the jacket cover decided to purchase her book for my Goddaughter Ella. I have been sitting, reading this beautiful book of poems with my daughters Chelsie Kay and Kathryn ages 18 and 20. We are all in agreement that this is one of the best books of poems that we have read. Ms. Zwegers' look into the world of children's imaginations is spot on. The three of us, have been taken back to our own childhoods and have spent the last two hours reminiscing about their days in the dress up box, turning the living room couch into an endless play day and the tea parties, oh the glorious tea parties they would have. There isn't a single poem about wanting something that costs money, it's about appreciating time spent with those you love and things that cannot be purchased. It's the little things in life that make it worth living. I admire the thanks given to past teachers and the authors' beautiful use of color and illustrations, so simple yet perfectly suited to each poem. I am planning to take the book to my our classroom Monday and begin reading the poems to my students at Harvest Elementary, one poem a day to savor each and every one. At this rate I will be in desperate need of more than one copy, my Goddaughter will be receiving a well read book by the time it reaches her little hands. Thank you for your beautiful words Ms. Zwegers, Jennifer Leathers
-- Jennifer Leathers - 03/05/2015
"Thank you for writing such a wonderful book of poetry that my daughter and I can share together. I love how it celebrates some of the simplest and yet most special of childhood moments."
My 4-year old daughter was captivated the moment we read "Fairy Doors". And "Kitchen Play" had her begging to bake cookies this weekend (although she was slightly concerned that the child in the poem did not let the goodies from the oven cool off enough before eating them). We had quite a giggle about that one! We read about half of the poems last night before bed; Lexie (my daughter) kept begging for one more and then just one more after that. She literally slept with the book last night. Tonight we again read several more poems before bed; we revisited some of her favorites (yes, she has favorites already) and also read a few new ones. Your poems beautifully capture the simple joys and innocence of childhood as reflected upon by an adult. Thank you for being a role model for our daughter. She likes to look at your picture and show people that there is a female author that grew up in Ann Arbor that likes the same things she likes. You are an inspiration.
-- Casey Warner, teacher and parent - 03/02/2015