Parents/Teachers

f.a.q.

  • Did you like The Guinness Book of World Records when you were a kid?

    • I did! I loved it. I never tried to break a record though. Unless you count the time when I was 16 and hanging out with my aunt and my cousin, and I stuffed a bunch of grapes in my mouth. I didn’t get very many. I have a pretty small mouth.
  • How do you find the records you use?

    • When I first started the Teddy Mars book, I had one Guinness Book of World Records book from 2008. I just love that copy. But as time has gone on I’ve collected more. Now I own seven books from different years. My oldest copy is from 1971. I look through them a lot for just the right record. I also use their website. It’s a super fun website to explore. (Kids—check with an adult before going online. Seriously!) www.guinnessworldrecords.com
  • How did you decide to have pigeons in your book?

    • I’ve always really liked pigeons, but when we moved into our house and it turned out that our neighbors kept pigeons, I couldn’t believe my luck! I found them so interesting and wanted to know more. So I went to the library and took out books. I also went online and looked up lots of stuff. The more I learned about them, the more I loved them. And I knew they were supposed to be part of Teddy’s story. But if they didn’t fit the story, I wouldn’t have put them in.
  • Was Cher Ami real?

    • Yes! It is such an amazing story. (There are lots of amazing things about pigeons). Someday I’ll write a non-fiction book about pigeons. In the meantime, Cher Ami can be found at The Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution: www.si.edu/Encyclopedia_SI/nmah/cherami.htm
  • You wrote your book with lots of short sections. Can you explain why?

    • I did this mostly because I have a short attention span, and it was a way to trick my brain into writing a longer book. But also short sections are cool because:
      • You don’t have to stop reading in the middle of the chapter because you’ve run out of time.
      • Short sections don’t freak readers out. In fact readers feel relaxed and successful.
  • Do you really like Star Wars?

    • I do. The first movie came out when I was ten. It was so crowded in the movie theater that I had to sit by myself. I remember loving it!
  • What fun things does your family do together?

    • Read out loud.
    • Play card games: spoons, bologna sandwich, spit, go fish.
    • Draw: we do lots of art, but we have a great time with the game where you fold a piece of paper in thirds. One person starts at the top keeping the drawing a secret. This person draws the head and the necklines (so the next person know where to start). The second person draws the middle and where the legs start (again so the person taking over knows where to start). The third person draws the legs. Then open it up and see what you’ve created! Remember you can draw anything! It doesn’t have to be realistic if you don’t want it to be! Just have fun.
    • Charades: Act out your favorite stories or movies and see who can guess them. You can do the “whole thing” or individual words. We play this a lot!

educational connections

activities

  1. Theater: Readers Theater (Scenes coming soon!)
  2. Visual Arts: Draw a record you would like to break.
    • What would you need?
    • Where would you be?
    • Who else would be with you?
    • Would you need help? If so, who would help you?
  3. 3-D Arts: Make a diorama.
    Teddy loves taking care of the pigeons. If you could choose, which animal would you take care of? Make a diorama that shows this. What would you need to take care of this animal? Put as many details in your diorama as you can.
  4. Investigative Skills: Interview a Grown-Up.
    Ask an adult about what they remember from The Guinness Book of World Records. If they don’t remember anything, ask them what record they would break if they could break a record?