monique polak

Monique Polak's Books

2 minutes reading time (498 words)

The Wrong Monique!

I am always on the lookout for funny stories because well, I love to laugh and also because if they're really funny I can USE THEM. Which is what I'm doing with the funny story that happened to ME and all the students at Saint Bernadette School in Regina, Saskatchewan. I'm using it to entertain you guys, blog readers!

The school had set up a Zoom with me because my picture book The Brass Charm is up for the Shining Willow Award, a Saskatchewan prize. So at the end of morning announcements, which included the Bobcat Creed (students who go to Saint Bernadette are called Bobcats), the vice-principal, a lovely person (I'd been listening to him during announcements), started to introduce the special guest (ME!). Here's where things get funny! Now picture me, relaxing at my laptop, expecting to see a picture of me on screen or maybe a picture of the book... when instead of any of that, I see a picture of author Monique Grey Smith and her book I Hope, which is up for the same award!!!

Which is when I realized: YOU GOT THE WRONG MONIQUE! (or maybe just the wrong picture and book cover)!! I should add that I didn't just think the words "You got the wrong Monique!" I MAY HAVE SHOUTED THEM!! (I have a very excitable personality!!)

You will, however, be relieved to know that in the end, THINGS WENT SUPER RIGHT!!

I read The Brass Charm to 400 students who were watching the Zoom from their classrooms, including the little gang in today's pic, who were together somewhere near the vice-principal's office. I also told the kids the story behind the book -- that the brass charm was given to my mom (a child at the time) by a stranger when they were imprisoned at Terezin, a Nazi concentration camp and that my mom entrusted me with the brass charm and also ITS STORY. Are you beginning to see that I'm really into stories here? ;)

A little later, I got a beautiful email from Grade Five teacher Angie Sazynski -- I had explained to the kids that the brass charm I now wear is replica -- and they were curious to know the story behind the replica. What happened, they wondered, to the original charm? So you see, there are stories inside and behind stories, and our stories can inspire even more stories. Wow, this thought is making me very happy today.

Now for a PERFECT HAPPY ENDING TO MY FUNNY STORY: Ms. Sazynski came up with a great writing assigment -- for the kids to write about what could have happened to the original charm (FYI -- I lost him last summer on a trip to the US.) So I'm dee-lighted to report that my story is working the right kind of magic -- it's leading to new stories. Which is why I think that the end, in my own way, I was the right Monique.

 

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Comments

Guest - Debbie Laurie on Wednesday, 20 September 2023 20:23

You’ll always be right and rise to the occasion!! Right or wrong? Right or left? I just love this blog! It made my day cause I needed a laugh. I’m just wiped from my 18 day pilgrimage which was absolutely amazing but my knees are protesting the
230 000 steps I subjected them to while following in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi. I bet there will be a lot of interesting discussions at many supper tables in Regina tonight. And it’s awesome to think that your mother will be known to so many other people in this world and become a symbol of hope and perseverance. Kids need to see this in their lives from role models.

You’ll always be right and rise to the occasion!! Right or wrong? Right or left? I just love this blog! It made my day cause I needed a laugh. I’m just wiped from my 18 day pilgrimage which was absolutely amazing but my knees are protesting the 230 000 steps I subjected them to while following in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi. I bet there will be a lot of interesting discussions at many supper tables in Regina tonight. And it’s awesome to think that your mother will be known to so many other people in this world and become a symbol of hope and perseverance. Kids need to see this in their lives from role models.
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