This week author-illustrator Laurie Keller (she of Arnie the Doughnut fame) paid a visit to my school. I have the photos to prove it.
Usually I put a visiting author’s name up on the marquee outside. But with knee-deep (nay, waist-deep) snow, that was a no-go. So, as a show of goodwill toward Ms. Keller, here are the giant plastic letters I would have used arranged to look like a heart.
Alright. Let’s talk prep.
Morning doughnuts for the staff? Check.
(note: this is a complete and utter doughnut re-creation – the actual doughnuts were not photographed)
(Doughnut photo: A Dozen Doughnuts from Krispy Kreme by sameold2012 via Flickr http://flic.kr/p/9HJhm4)
Bulletin board? Check.
We had students create their own Arnie the Doughnuts.
I whipped up a few giant book covers to display.
Backup easel ready.
Backup projector ready.
Books to be signed ready.
Window chalk welcome ready.
It’s showtime. Laurie did a great job, starting things off with the tooth pledge from Open Wide: Tooth School Inside.
Laurie talked about her life leading up to becoming an author. Note to those doing author visits – pictures of your drawings from 1st grade are a plus.
Here she is talking about how she thought up The Scrambled States of America as she was falling asleep.
After talking about the process of writing, it was time to draw.
Laurie walked students through Arnie and an otter (from her book Do Unto Otters). I joined in. I realized in this process that otters would make the world’s worst soccer players.
Possibly the best part of the drawing segment was when Laurie showed students the secret behind cartoon expressions. A couple slight changes to eyebrows, eyelids, and mouths can create the range of emotions.
Students had a chance to share their work.
A great day. Now we get to decide how to divvy up the drawings.
Many thanks to Laurie Keller for visiting and my school district for making it happen.