Sunday, May 19, 2013

Peter Brown Author Visit!

It has been a fast and furious spring, with hardly a moment to write any posts!  I have been busy preparing for our first, ever (at least in my memory) Author Visit with the talented picture book author and illustrator Peter Brown.  In case you didn't know, Peter is the author of many books, including Children Make Terrible Pets, You Will Be My Friend, The Curious Garden, and most recently he illustrated Creepy Carrots which was written by Aaron Reynolds.  And did I mention he received a Caldecott Honor for Creepy Carrots?  Oh Yeah! It has been an exciting and wonderful adventure for our school that I would like to share!

We started to prepare back in January by forming a committee of teachers and parents.  Our parent organization would be funding the event and organizing the book sale and book signing as well.  The teachers would create all of the activities and lessons that would go along with Peter's books.  Teachers also planned and created decorations for the school.  I had a fabulous and dedicated group of teachers to work with on this event!

The weeks prior to Peter's visit we hung posters all over the school that announced his upcoming visit.  We included photos of Peter and his books.  Paper carrots were hung from the ceiling the week before to help generate excitement with our students and staff.  And of course we read his books!  Teachers also created many wonderful literacy activities to extend the books.

The morning of the event we greeted Peter in pink tutus and hair bows in honor of Lucy Bear, a favorite character. Yes!  The teachers all wore tutus.  We are a very enthusiastic group.

Peter did  3 separate presentations for each grade level.  We are a K-2 building.  Then he spend the entire afternoon greeting students and signing nearly 300 books!  His presentations were wonderful.  He had a great manner with the children and a terrific sense of humor.  Anyone that can keep nearly 150 kindergartners engaged for 45 minutes is a winner in my book!

Here's some comments I received from our students;

  • I loved the sound effects he put in the Creepy Carrots story.
  • His picture of his mommy was funny.  He gave her 6 fingers.
  • He draws horses good.
  • The first book he made was about his dog, Buffy. 
  • He wished his dog could climb trees.
  • The best was when he showed how to draw a creepy carrot!
  • Peter taught us what inspired means.
  • I laughed when he told us about a bird pooping on his head when he was on a date.
  • I liked when he showed us some parts of his new book, Mr. Tiger Goes Wild.
  • He wrote, "Don't Be Creepy!" in my book!
  • He was good.  I want him to come back again.
  • I loved when he signed my book.  I was excited.
  • I want to write books like Peter Brown.

Peter Brown inspired our entire school.  Throughout the day students brought him cards and books that they made for him.  Teachers shared with me how students were inspired to create books and artwork in the same style as Peter's.  It was a non-stop day for all, especially Peter.  He was kind and patient to all, and very generous with his time.  It was an unforgettable day at our school - one that we will treasure in our hearts forever.  Thank you Peter Brown for visiting, sharing your books, sharing yourself and connecting with our young students.

Please visit my class website to see more about what our second graders did after reading The Curious Garden.