Monday, June 8, 2009

A Talent for Quiet by Kim Chatel

Today we are visiting with Kim Chatel and her book A Talent for Quiet as part of the “Bounding for Books Blog Tour.”

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Let’s see what the rest of the gang is up to today.

Jennifer Gladen pops in to chat with Shari Soffe at “Out of My Mind” About Books for Children.
Mayra Calvani and Margot Finke talk over at Margot’s blog.
Joy Delgado can be found at Topsy Turvy Land with Donna Shepherd.
Shari Soffe over at Daily News with Kim Chatel Daily News with Kim Chatel.
Margot Finke chats with Jennifer Gladen at Jen’s Blog.
Donna Shepherd visits with Mayra Calvani at Mayra’s Secret Bookcase.

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Kim’s A Talent for Quiet is a book many children can relate to. Here’s a little peek inside.

Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing
Release Date: February 2009
Print ISBN: 978-1-935137-56-6
ebook ISBN: 978-1-935137-57-3

Reanie is a shy girl. She has a new step dad whose shoulders seem to fill their small house. Afraid to disappoint him, she retreats to her room whenever Bill asks her to play. But when he invites her on a photo safari in the creek, Reanie can’t resist. As the father and daughter splash through the water, they encounter many creatures. Bill teaches Reanie how to handle a camera, and her new step-dad doesn’t seem so strange anymore.

Illustrated with Kim Chatel’s photography, this is more than a story. It is a journey with Reanie as she finds her voice and her artistic talent. The back of the book includes 4 nonfiction pages about photography: a glossary of terms, tips on taking better pictures and historical tidbits about photography.

You can purchase the book here:

So, how does Kim take her book beyond reading? A Talent for Quiet is a book about photography. There are several pages of photo tips, a glossary of terms and historical facts included in the book. She also created a ‘Stuffed Animal Memory Game’ that’s a lot of fun. Here is a reprint from Kim’s web page.

One hot July afternoon, when Genna was 2 years old, I put her down for a nap and then snuck all her favorite stuffed animals out to the back yard. I set them up in 10 little scenes. The cows played soccer against the sheep (with a Border Collie as referee). The naughty bunnies got into the garden. Ching, the siamese cat, stalked a toad in a toad house. CopyCat, the orange tabby finally learned to use the potty.

I chuckled all the way as I set up the scenes. Finally, I had found a use for the dozens of stuffed animals in our house! Before Genna woke up I snapped a picture of each scene.

Of course, Genna was only 2 at the time, so when she saw all her animals having fun in the backyard, it seemed perfectly natural to her. I suspect older children would find the dioramas more surprising. We walked around the yard and interacted with each scene. We had tea with the teddy bears and helped Oscar take a bath in the birdbath. It was a lovely, quiet afternoon.
Later, I had two of each photo printed and laminated in plastic. We used these as a memory game. Not only did the game help Genna with cognitive and motor skills, but each time we played, we remembered the afternoon with the animals outside.

Older children might have fun setting up their own animal scenes and even taking the pictures. My picture book A Talent for Quiet has simple tips for kids to take better pictures. Here are a few examples:

-Zoom in on the subject of your picture to get rid of background clutter.
-Try forcing your flash to fire, even in bright sunlight to eliminate harsh shadows.

Want to see a slide show of Kim’s Animal Memory Game? Go here.

I asked Kim to share a few things about herself. This is what she said.

My writing has opened up many opportunities for me in my community. I visit schools and libraries, reading my books to kids and presenting workshops on fiber art and photography. Once a month I have a booth at a different local craft fair, to sign books and sell my felt ornaments. So I spend most of my evenings creating fiber art sculptures to sell at these fairs. This year, I am on the fundraising committee for our local zoo. My picture book “A Talent for Quiet” was shot in the creek at the zoo’s nature preserve. I am very exciting that this book will be part of the 2010 fundraising drive.

What I do for fun, when I’m not at my computer, at a reading or making felt art? I just started horse-back riding. My daughter and I volunteer at Last Chance Ranch, a no-kill shelter for horses, dogs and just about any abandoned animal. I love to river-walk and go on photo safaris too.

Thank you Kim for letting us see beyond your life as an author, photographer and fiber artist.

I hope you enjoyed reading about A Talent for Quiet. Come back Wednesday when Jennifer Gladen comes for a visit to talk about her upcoming book A Star in the Night.

posted by Joy Delgado
We go Beyond Reading
Laughing Zebra – Books for Children
Check out what’s going on at the zoo!
Zooprise Party / Fiesta Zoorpresa blog


Mayra Calvani said...

I love your stuffed animal memory game--what fun! :-)

Jennifer Gladen said...


What a fun game - and what a surprise to wake up to after a nap :) I'm sure your child has a "coolest Mom" award for you somewhere.

Joy said...

I agree with both of you. This game sounds lke it's lots of fun. Now I just need to find some little ones to try it out on. Mine are 24 and 27, so I don;t think it would grab their imagination like a 2-5 year old.


Donna J. Shepherd said...

I appreciate all these wonderful tips. Thanks!

Shari Lyle-Soffe said...

What a terrific idea! You are so imaginative.


Kim Chatel said...

Thanks for hosting me, Joy. I'm glad everyone liked the photo game. I was a great day.

Margot Finke said...

Wonderful hosting job, Joy. Love the games and the coloring sheets too. Kim really knows the fun of an interactive book.
FREE: A Link to me reading any Autographed picture book you BUY from my website.

Joy said...

Thanks ladies for stopping in. Kim has a great book and it was fun to host her today.