Authors visit St. Francis students

Staff Writer

METUCHEN — Six years later and a new crop of students, St. Francis Cathedral School welcomed back the children’s author and illustrator, Trinka Hakes Noble.

Noble visited the school on Feb. 1 as part of Catholic Schools Week. She visited with approximately 350 kindergarten to fifth grade students.

Librarian Patricia Guidi said when Noble came to the school six years ago, those kindergarten to fifth grade students, who she visited, now are in middle school or high school.

“We have her books in the library,” she said adding that she met Noble at a workshop and invited her to come to the school.

Noble, who has been an author and illustrator of children’s books for more than 30 years, shared some of her books including “Apple Tree Christmas,” “Jimmy’s Boa” series, and “The Legend of the Cape May Diamond” and showed the students how her books are printed.

She presented the school with a Cape May diamond that she found along the coast, as described in her children’s book.

Noble said some of her stories come from real life situations and her illustrations are based on real people and animals in her life.

She said some of her books are based on historical fiction including “The Scarlet Stocking Spy,” set during the American Revolution, and “The Last Brother,” a Civil War tale.

“I bring props with me and during my talk with the fourth and fifth grades, I have four boys put on hats of that [Civil War] time,” she said, adding that during the Civil War, children as young as 10 years old were called to serve. “My presentation is both for learning and entertainment.”

Also on Feb. 1, Marie Collins, author and former student at St. Francis, met with students in grades six through eight.

The Catholics Schools Week at St. Francis Cathedral School kicked off with a Community of Faith, Knowledge and Service Mass on Jan. 31, the visit by the authors on Feb. 1, pizza with family members on Feb. 2, dress down day with teacher trivia and musical classes on Feb. 3, a vocations assembly on Feb. 4, and a celebration of the school’s staff, faculty and volunteers on Feb. 5.