My FIrst School Visit for MINE!
On November 29, 2016, I had the pleasure of speaking to K-2 students and teachers at Fort Lee School No. 2.
The kids were excited to meet a "real live author," and they welcomed me with their attention and bright faces. I asked them if they liked to read books, listen to stories, and draw pictures. Hands shot up, and immediately we established a rapport as fellow fans of children's books. I called out some of my favorite titles, and then they shared titles of some of the children's books they really loved reading. Win win!
Next I explained how a picture book is a combination of words and art working together to tell a story. Then we read MINE! as a group, and I still smile when I remember the kids' resounding made-up bunny voices yelling, "MINE! OURS! YOURS!" Reading to kids is awesome. Reading WITH kids is hilarious.
I also talked about the process of making a picture book-- getting ideas, sketching out a book, and making the final art.
Then I put on a magic show with my big Sharpie marker "wand" and a large pad of paper. On the spot, I doodled from my imagination. I wanted to show how ideas leave my brain, travel through my hand, and are put down on paper. My once nebulous ideas became *real* and concrete on the paper. This means they can be shared with others, a good first step toward creating a picture book. Now that's what I call "magic."
I closed with a simple-to-follow art lesson for "How to Draw an Emotional Rabbit."
Thanks to Fort Lee School No. 2 for giving me such a wonderful experience, and a special "thank you" to Media Specialist Mary Castano for helping organize the event. I really enjoyed my visit. I hope the students left my presentations inspired to read, write, draw, and make up their own stories!
I am looking forward to more school and library visits in 2017!