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100 Scope Notes
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Instagramming an Author Visit: Arnie the Doughnut Creator Laurie Keller

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.

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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.

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Alright. Let’s talk prep.

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Morning doughnuts for the staff? Check.

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(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.

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I whipped up a few giant book covers to display.

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Easel ready.

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Backup easel ready.

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Backup projector ready.

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Books to be signed ready.

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Window chalk welcome ready.

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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.

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Here she is talking about how she thought up The Scrambled States of America as she was falling asleep.

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After talking about the process of writing, it was time to draw.

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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.

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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.

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A great day. Now we get to decide how to divvy up the drawings.

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Many thanks to Laurie Keller for visiting and my school district for making it happen.

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About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.

Comments

  1. My son loves this book and enjoyed your post. He’s in 3rd grade.

  2. I love Laurie!!! What a great document of what looks like a fabulous visit.

  3. Love how interactive this visit was with all of the kids drawing! Looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Julie Z says:

    This was very informative and super fun to see. Lots of prep and it looks like it turned out great. I’m inspired!

  5. What a fun – and awesomely prepared – day! Jake and I want to come to Mr. Jonker’s class! Best, Janet Tashjian

  6. Christina Cucci says:

    Such a great preview- we will have Laurie Keller visit NJ in April, so excited to meet her!

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