"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Feeling the author/illustrator love

Thank you Kevin Hawkes for an inspiring visit to our school library!  (See slide show below.)  What a great way to celebrate Picture Book Month!

Kevin Hawkes visited with first grade students in my library.  I was, and continue to be, incredibly touched by his rapport with the students.  I watched 75 six-year-old's follow his every move and listen to his stories with rapt attention.  He had them happily engaged for almost an hour.  The students were not just watching though, he had them observing and sharing and laughing.

The students had been reading his books in preparation for his visit (not that they are not read on a regular basis!) and were well-versed in his work.  Kevin spoke with the students about the artists that inspire his work and then showed their influence on his work; how wonderful for students to see the direct connection between the two. Along with these artistic influences, the students heard about his influences and inspirations as an author. 

Not only did I witness his wonderful rapport with the students, I witnessed his craft as an artist as he adeptly wielded a piece of chalk, creating one drawing after another.  He explained the use of line and white space as he drew; the students learned how to make their creations move as well as how perspective can dictate how readers react to an illustration.  Kevin also spoke about the important things to remember when creating a character for a story. The students were mesmerized and inspired.

I had been planning to hold my traditional library classes following Kevin's visit, but this was too hard an act to follow, so I scrapped my lesson and pulled out pencils, markers and paper and watched the students play with their new found knowledge.  Here's a slide show capturing our visit.  Enjoy!

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