Tag: school reading

Baltimore Co. Public Library Reading // Chunky and Friends

I had an awesome time conducting a live interactive reading at the Baltimore County Public Library’s Rosedale Branch.  I’d like to thank Sara Jane and the rest of the staff at the Rosedale Branch for inviting me to entertain the children during their Fit and Fun Day.  Here are some images from the event:

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Introducing myself to the families that arrived early.

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I’m giving instructions to the audience as to what to do during the reading. See the scream sign in my hand?

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Sometimes I stand but, I decided to sit and read the book.

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Everyone received a scream sign at the end of the reading.

Jamon Kids write a Chunky & Friends Inspired Book
Jamon Kids write a Chunky & Friends Inspired Book



Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to conduct a reading at Jamon Montessori School in Silver Spring, Maryland.  I had toyed with the idea of creating a writing workshop  in which I would sit with a group of children and walk them through the process of writing a story.  After sharing my thoughts with the school’s Director, Lisa Miller, it became clear she wanted to take this idea a step further and have the children write and publish a book that they could take home with them for the summer.

Working with the four children (three second graders and a first grader) who were eager about writing, was a blast! . I kept the process simple by teaching the kids a basic three act structure that included the Set-up, Climax and Conclusion. In addition, there were three criteria for the young writers on this  project, 1.They had to work together 2. The story had to be health and/or fitness based and  3. They had to use characters from the Chunky and Friends book series.  Much to the Director and my satisfaction, the children delivered a book titled, “Attack of the Bad Health Elf,” written and colored by MMAC (Maya, Melvin, Alex and Canady) and illustrated by their resident artist, Mr. Monte.

Check out the images below.

jamon book 1

jamon book 2

Chunky and Friends at St. Martins of Tours
Chunky and Friends at St. Martins of Tours


On Thursday, October 17, 2013 I had the opportunity to read Chunky and The O-Beast to the kids at St. Martin’s of Tours in Gaithersburg, MD.  Although I’ve done smaller readings this was by far the largest group and the kids were amazing!  They ranged from PreK-8th grade.  The reading with the 6-8th grade class concluded with a Q&A session about the writing and artistic process.  Thankfully, the book illustrator Jose Dominguez was available to answer questions about drawing the artwork.

The kids were completely engaged in the content, the message and the art.  We received praised from Principal Andrew Piotrowski for an enthusiastic reading that opened the conversation about healthy eating & building self-confidence.  Also, Mr. Piotrowski took the opportunity speak after the reading to reinforce the main themes of the book in the context of the schools principles.

Words cannot do justice for the amount of fun we had so please, check out the images from the St. Martin of Tours website by clicking this link (my favorite is the look of shock on the kids faces): https://smsmd.org/visit-from-author-joe-vivens/

We have other school readings scheduled and will share images and links as they become available.  If you’re interested in having me and the illustrator come out for a reading and Q&A, contact us.

Finally, I want to thank the students, faculty and staff of St. Martin’s for being gracious hosts and a spectacular audience.

– JV