I recently was invited to spend a day with the children at School Street School in Rochester, NH. I had a fantastic day talking to them about writing and illustrating children’s picture books, and hopefully, inspired a few to follow their own dreams. The kids were fun, excited, engaging, and well . . . rockin’! Don’t let this charming little schoolhouse (reminiscent of my own parochial grammar school sans nuns and asbestos pipes) fool you. There is some serious education going on here (and kudos to the teachers and administration for making their AYP!!!!)
Here I am holding the original art for the cover of my book, Carrot in My Pocket, written by Kitson Flynn. In the background you can see a slide of all the heads I created throughout the book that were rejected. There’s a funny story there but suffice it to say that since my four-year-old son was my model, I couldn’t throw them out.
And while I can only speculate on my inspirational value, I was definitely inspired by one young student who presented me with an illustration that she made just for me. Here she is pictured with her sister. Thank you so much!!!
Last week I visited the children at Tuftonboro Central School. As the crow flies, Tuftonboro is maybe 10 miles away, but when you have to drive all around Lake Winnipesaukee to get there, it takes about an hour. It was a nice fall day and well worth the time.
Here’s why: after driving for an hour, drinking my super-large-soda-with-ice-and-a-straw that accompanies me on every long drive (89¢ @ Irving stations!), my first stop is always the restroom. No surprise there. But what surprised me when I exited the bathroom was what I saw—
Those clever little second graders had created beautiful artwork based on my book, Good Morning Garden. I loved them all! They were wonderfully expressive, energetic and full of life. Thank you for that wonderful tribute. Here is just a sampling. I’m sorry I couldn’t include them all.
I would have love to have taken them all home! Of course, I saw lots of other great art there as well—self-portraits, collages, cartoons, etc. Thank you Tuftonboro Central School for inviting me and for keeping art alive in your school. Your children were bright, inquisitive, charming and engaging.
Yesterday I had a reading and signing at the NH Farm Museum, which was great fun. It was part of their Children’s Day and the weather was beautiful. I had tons of people show up for the reading in the barn and we had to get more chairs. A good problem, no?
I didn’t take the time for the whole museum tour (mostly because my family went boating for the day without me and I was missing them) but what I saw was great. They had buttermaking, cheesemaking, basket making, a blacksmith, and many interactive things for kids to play with—a cornmeal grinder, and old-fashioned washing machine (snicker), a tool sharpener, weaving loom, etc.
My favorite things there were the chickens running around everywhere and the mules pulling the hay ride. Also watching the sack race, and the kids trying to get those wooden hoops to roll. Hilarious! A great place to bring the kiddos!
Hey, Elm Street School!
I want to give a shout out to the students at Elm Street School. I visited them just before the end of the year, and I have to say, they were the greatest group of kids I have had the pleasure of presenting to. They were great fun and full of good questions. Actually, I am partial to the fourth graders there as I had presented to them the week before at the Belknap Mill Hosiery Mill program. Here I am showing them the original jacket art from Carrot in My Pocket.
Here I am showing them the cover. (Note to self: don’t wear beigey clothes if you want good pictures.)
Yesterday I visited the wonderful children at Belmont Elementary School in Belmont, NH. They were attentive and inquisitive, just the way I like them. And they weren’t the least bit wiggly. Oh no, not them! Well, okay, maybe a little, but it had been raining forever so I can’t fault them for that. So thank you children for a wonderful day!
(and I truly do apologize for saying that bad word! We’ll blame that on the rain too. Deal?)