100 Scope Notes
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Photo Gallery: An Author Visit with Leslie Helakoski



Last week author and illustrator Leslie Helakoski visited my school. We had a great time and I have the pictures to prove it.


Looks like someone’s school got a new electronic sign that doesn’t photograph as nicely as the old one!


In the weeks leading up to her visit, I read a bunch of these books with my students. Although their was one that I had Leslie Helakoski read to them (thanks, KidLit TV).

Students went to town on coloring pages based on Leslie’s books (see around the bulletin board in the first picture above.

The first session was with kindergarteners and there are two things that never fail with kindergarteners:


1. Puppets. Leslie brought in an owl puppet that she got while making the book Hoot & Honk Just Can’t Sleep. She pulled that thing out and the room was mesmerized.

And the other thing that never fails with kindergartners is:


2. Moving around. Leslie turned her story Big Chickens into a full on We’re Going on a Bear Hunt style interactive song. This was genius. Picture book authors out there – turn your books into interactive songs and your school visits will go to the next level.


Leslie talked about how she writes stories, but also how she illustrates. These are Leslie’s kid-friendly Hoot and Honk characters. Students got out their pencils and paper and followed along.


Author visit success! Leslie Helakoski, thank you for visting our school.

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.