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

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The day with a visit from Little Elliot's creator, Mike Curato

Today was the day! 
Mike Curato came a visiting.

Combine a wonderful picture book with students that have read it (and created projects for it) and add in the author/illustrator of that book and magic happens. Our first and second graders love Elliot and could not wait to meet his creator.

The first graders met with Mike first.

Mike showed them early art from his elementary years.

He showed how art for Little Elliot Big City went from sketch to full-color spread.

He wrote and illustrated a story with the students.

The finished product.

Mike finished up his time by answering questions. One that stood out, "Little Elliot did not feel that he was seen, did you ever feel like that when you were young?" resulted in a great conversation.

It was time for the second graders to meet Mike Curato!

Mike showed the students early sketches from the book - a great reminder that all art begins somewhere.

When talking about the art in Little Elliot, Mike showed the students how he goes to the library to do research by exploring old images. I love this as it reinforces my message to the students that good researchers not only read the articles and books, but also take in information from the images, charts, maps, and graphs.

"How many people like to draw?"

There were quite a few suggestions when it came time to write their story with Mike.

Watching the children watch Mike draw was a memorable experience. They have seen artists draw before, but Mike's ability to take their ideas and quickly put them into scale and perspective had them in awe. 

(The presentations were the same, but I focused on different aspects for each grade.)

Here are the stories the students created with Mike:
Second Grade Story

First Grade Story

I can't wait to see these students next week and reflect on the visit with them. 

Other fun happenings from the day...

Thank goodness there's more Little Elliot to come! I had the chance to read Little Elliot Big Family, due out in October. It's incredible. The story itself is quite moving and the illustrations needed much more time than I had to explore them. This book is gorgeous and longs to be poured over.   

I always buy a book when we have these visits. 
I am excited to add this to my bookshelves at home!

Thanks, Mike! It was a fabulous visit!
What a wonderful day it was!

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