Author Tickles Funny Bones of Students

You could call Rachelle Burk an all-class clown but then you’d also have to call her Tickles, her clownish alter ego. You could also call her a children’s author, storyteller and party entertainer. While visiting McKinley Elementary School on Tuesday to kick off a whirlwind tour of the district Burk was a little bit of all of those things to the delight of her engaged and enthusiastic audiences (nobody claps like a kindergartener).

During her session with preschoolers and kindergarteners in the school library kids were spread out from coast to coast on the big rug that doubles as a map of the United States.

Burk emphasized the powers of curiosity, imagination and creativity in her own experiences which include everything from parachuting to eating bugs to bathing an elephant and cuddling a tiger. Besides the tableful of her traditionally published works for children she also brought along the first edition of her first storybook, the only copy ever printed of Why is That So, Monkey Joe? It dates back 50 years to when Burk was a second grader. Bound between cardboard covers, it’s only a few inches square but has stood the test of time and proven to be just the beginning of a career for its author.

Who knows who else it may serve to inspire by the time Tickles leaves town after stops at Morris on Wednesday, Capitol View on Thursday and Moulton on Friday?

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