Another adventure is before me today as I visit the St. Mary’s School in Canandaigua, NY to sit in on the visit of author Rhonda Fischer. Ms. Fischer will be sharing her children’s book, “Randy Kazandy Where Are Your Glasses?”, with the children in pre-school through third grade.
As we approach the entrance to the pre-school, the teachers greet us warmly. They gather around Ms. Fischer, wanting to share some fond memories of her nephews, Lucas and Quinten, who are featured in Ms. Fischer’s book, and who used to attend school here. One teacher remembers how Quinten would run up to her and give her a hug every morning and says she will never forget him. Another recalls Lucas as a kind, thoughtful, and adventurous little boy. They are thrilled that both boys are in the children’s book and promise to share the book with their students for years to come.
As the teachers gather the children, we enter the music room, where the reading will take place. Ms. Fischer gets energized the instant the children begin to enter and take their seats. When she starts playing the Randy Kazandy theme song, “Randy Kazandy Time,” on the piano there is a warm feeling in the room that lifts one’s heart with the sound of the music. I can see the children start to loosen up as the music engages them. Eagerly, the children listen closely as the story begins. Randy Kazandy comes to life before their eyes. As they look at the beautiful illustrations, I can see how much they love Randy Kazandy. One particular teacher, Ms. Mercandetti, is really moved by the story, and as we all giggle right along with the children, it is her laugh that radiates throughout the room.
When the story is over, Rhonda talks with the children about Randy Kazandy’s motto, “I love being me.” She reminds them how some people tease others, telling the children that whatever the circumstances may be, they must remember to hug themselves and say, “I love being me.” They seem to love this part as much as the story.
The children have lots of questions. With their little hands raised, each tries hard to get Rhonda’s attention. They want to know how and where to find the book, and they are interested in the games on the website. A lot of the kids want to know where they can buy a pair of the silly alien glasses Lucas had instructed me to put on while Rhonda read that Randy Kazandy thought he looked like an alien in his new glasses.
As the children leave the room, Rhonda once again plays the theme song that they learned just before the story. Even as they leave the room, they are singing and clapping, and some even do a few dance steps.
I am grateful to have been involved in helping to bring Randy Kazandy Where Are Your Glasses? to life. It’s rewarding to work with the author, Rhonda Fischer. This has been a wonderful, fulfilling ride. I’ll always fondly remember “Randy Kazandy Time” and “I love being me.”