I just got home from a lovely research trip to Paris for an upcoming picture book that I'm illustrating. More details on that book coming as soon as the publisher makes the announcement. Paris was absolutely stunning as you can see:
Toward the end of January, I spoke at a wonderful school, the Thelma B. Johnson Learning Center, in Henderson, Kentucky. They went all out for my visit! Quite impressive. They set up really cool activities that went along with my picture books CORA COOKS PANCIT and DANCING DREAMS.
They made pancit using the recipe from in CORA COOKS PANCIT and gave out aprons to the kids.
They brought ballet, ballroom, and broadway dancers to demonstrate some of the dances in DANCING DREAMS.
And a librarian taught parents how to read with their child in a dialogic fashion.
So what did I do? Well, I gave a presentation on how picture books are created and then worked with the students in the audience to come up with our own new character. After I sketched our character, the students helped me decide what our character likes and doesn't like and then we created our our own story based on our character. The kids learned how a story is structured and how to come up with story ideas. We had lots of fun, and, as always, I was in awe of the imaginative answers the students gave.
The local paper covered the event. What a great day in Henderson for encouraging the love of books!