Over the summer Caramel got into keeping a notebook where he doodles sketches and writes stories. Today he reviews the book that inspired it all: A Writer’s Notebook by Ralph Fletcher. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.
Sprinkles: So Caramel, tell us a bit about this book.
Caramel: This book is about keeping a writer’s notebook.
S: What is a writer’s notebook?
C: A notebook where writers put writing about their everyday lives. Things they see, think of, and read about. They use it to capture interesting points in the past, so that they can remember them.
S: So it is like a journal, in some ways. They write notes on what is going on and what they think about those things. So how is a writer’s notebook different from a journal? What makes a writer’s notebook a writer’s notebook?
C: Hmm, I am not sure.
S: Maybe it has something to do with the person being a writer?
C: Yes, because if you are a writer, you come back to what you wrote and think about it and maybe you can use it in your stories or poems and so on.
S: So a writer’s notebook is basically a journal, but the person keeping it uses it for their writing purposes.
S: So what is in the book exactly?
C: There are chapters about how different people use their writer’s notebooks. For example, there is a chapter about writing down memories of events that were important to you. Then there is a chapter where you learn that you can also write about really small things, things that might be interesting but not really important. But then somehow those might be useful later if you are writing a story or something.
S: I see.
C: There is a chapter called Fierce Wonderings, which is about how you can also write in your notebook about things that you want to know more about. There is a chapter about listening in on other people’s conversations and taking notes if they sound interesting.
S: I guess that teaches you about interesting dialogue.
C: I guess so. You can also have seed ideas.
S: What are those?
C: A seed idea is an idea that you can build on, so for example the author writes about someone who kept collecting facts about spiders.
S: That reminds me of your notebook, where you keep drawing different robot models.
S: I think yours is not only a writer’s notebook, but rather, an artist’s notebook. Because you are drawing more than writing.
C: I guess so. But I think the idea is the same.
S: Yes, I can see that. You also keep drawing similar things and try to improve on the details. I think sometimes writers do that in their notebooks too.
C: Writers also put other people’s sentences and ideas in their notebooks too, if they like it.
S: And that is kind of similar to when you were trying to draw Eve in your notebook, inspired by the female robot in the movie Wall-E. You like how she is drawn and want to see if you can draw something similar.
S: So do you also write stories or even shorter things in your notebook?
C: Yes. I have a few sentences here and there.
S: Do you like keeping a notebook?
C: Yes. Because then I can draw things whenever I want.
S: I can see how that is appealing. So let us get back to this book. What three words would you use to describe this book?
C: Many voices because the author shares writings of many other people, many of them are kids like me. Good ideas to get started with your own notebook… And … quick. It is a short book so I read it quickly.
S: That was definitely more than three words, but you did provide us with three distinct features of the book. Thank you. So let us wrap things up. What do you want to tell our readers?
C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!