Today, we had a Skype visit with Dan Santat. It was phenomenal. Dan was engaging and thoughtful. He connected with the students right away, and along with valuable advice about writing and art, he shared stories that made that advice memorable. No students will forget the similarity between a banana and the color purple (you will have to watch the video for that experience). What made the visit doubly fabulous was the fact that we were once again also connecting with our Library Pals in Minnesota!
Prior to the visit
We read BEEKLE back in September when we were building our library community. The book was an instant hit. The community courage lesson is here. Two fifth grade students made a book trailer. The first graders shared their own imaginary friends.
Prior to this visit, we reread BEEKLE and looked at this Pen & Oink interview. (It is full of great insider information about Beekle.) We have also read and enjoyed Crankenstein, Bawk & Roll, and Three Ninja Pigs, to say nothing of the newly re-issued Ricky Ricotta books. Many students have also read Sidekicks, Dan's graphic novel. Needless to say, we were well-versed and ready!
I had students write questions on index cards. We got through a few, but we could have kept going all day! Here are just a few:
"Which book was the hardest to work on?"
"What does it mean when the palette is tight?"
"What would you do if you were no an author/illustrator?"
"How do you choose what you want to illustrate from a manuscript?"
"Do you like pandas? I have seen them in two of your books?"
"How do you think purple should be used?"
"How many authors have you worked with?"
"How did you get your passion for writing and illustrating books?"
"How do you start your graphic novels?"
During the visitWe connected the students in Minnesota and Newton first, and then brought Dan into the visit.
It was a fast paced twenty minutes with questions and answers bouncing back and forth.