Author visits elementary students

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An award-winning author entertained East Elementary School students Wednesday.

Pattie Schnetzler, from Silt, Colo., spent the day in the Craig school reading and explaining her book, "Ten Little Dinosaurs." The book with beady eyes protruding from every page is the recipient of the 1998 Colorado Children's Book Award.

While at East Elementary, Schnetzler, who is also a registered nurse, played the intriguing role of scientist in asking students about dinosaurs. She asked many questions, ranging in how many claws the tyrannosarus has to how a platypus eats. She also read her rhyming and illustrated book while explaining the scientific dinosaur names.

"This is a lot of fun and neat for the kids to have this opportunity," East Elementary Librarian Robin Weible said. "The kids like to come (to the library) and do this sort of thing.

"We want kids to know that they can be writers."

This was Schnetzler's second visit to the school.

Schnetzler talked with each grade level. At the end of the presentation, students and teachers, equipped with props courtesy of Schnetzler, acted out portions an improvisational drama about the book. Judging by the students, it was a definite highlight of the visit.

"While reading the book, I talk about how different scientists would have chosen certain names for dinosaurs," Schnetzler said.

"Ten Little Dinosaurs," illustrated by Jim Harris, portrays 10 different dinosaurs. Along with visual effects and a rhyming schemata, the book brought up safety issues. An underlying theme of the book is, if the dinosaur isn't safe he will not survive.

Schnetzler was inspired to write the book by her son, Shawn. When Shawn was a year old, he fell in love with dinosaurs. Schnetzler took him to museums and read him books and magazines about the prehistoric creatures. The fondness toward dinosaurs spread.

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