In honor of PARP Week, Kate Klimo, author of the popular Dragon Keepers series of fantasy books, visited Marion Street School in Lynbrook to share some stories about how her first children's novel, The Dragon in the Sock Drawer, came to be.
Klimo said that she wrote her first poem when she was in kindergarten and was hooked as a writer ever since. Her fascination with fantasy came through reading books by C.S. Lewis, E. Nesbit, Edward Eager and George MacDonald.
"Fantasy asks the question 'What if?'" Klimo told her audience. "It's about things you wish were true."
"I spent much of my young life searching around for magic portals in my hometown of Sea Cliff, N.Y. with a childhood friend who shared my fascination with fantastical worlds," she added. "We felt if we wrote about it, it would become real. Fantasy writing is world building."
Klimo passed around notebooks of her early writing for the students to see. She also passed around a box of geodes that provided the inspiration for the thunder eggs that hatch into baby dragons in her books. She finished her presentation by reading an excerpt from her latest book, The Dragon in the Sea.
The author's presentation was funded by the Marion Street PTA as part of the school's PARP Week celebration. Arrangements were made through PTA parent Kerri Benvenuto, who works for Klimo's publisher, Random House.
The PTA also provided each child with a Dragon Keepers book as a memento of the occasion.
PARP, which stands for Parents as Reading Partners, is a National PTA program that asks parents to read with their children for at least 15 minutes daily, stressing the fact that reading can be fun as well as informative.