Friday, September 7, 2012

Author-Illustrator Stephen Savage

Lauren Strohecker is a dynamic teacher-librarian, a bookseller, and an important member of my personal learning network. She uses Skype to connect her students with authors and illustrators. I invited her on Watch. Connect. Read to share about the time award-winning author-illustrator Stephen Savage Skyped with her lucky students.

I wrote the words in red, and Lauren wrote the words in black. Thank you, Lauren!

*Skype is an awesome way to bring authors and illustrators into my library—and into my students’ lives!

*I connect my students with authors and illustrators to build excitement about books, to meet the real-life rockstars who create them, and to give kids an inside glimpse at the processes of writing, illustrating, & publishing.

*Where’s Walrus? In my students’ hands, homes, and backpacks! Especially since our Skype visit, Walrus has been impossible to keep on the library shelves.
(If you don't believe Lauren, please visit Stephen's website to see his vibrant illustrations.)

*Stephen’s illustrations are vibrant, engaging, and inspiring. After our visit, students collaborated on a sequel in which other animals escape from the zoo. So much fun!

*He told my students all about the process of creating Where’s Walrus?, from the first sketches to the final copy. Then he gave us a sneak peek at his new book Little Tug, available October 2 from Roaring Brook Press. He also made some drawings for us, inspired by student suggestions. He sent us a personalized Walrus and a tugboat named after our school!

*If you asked one of my students to share what they learned from this experience, I think they’d probably say something like, “Illustrators are REAL people too!” After awarding Stephen Savage our 2012 Mock Caldecott, it was eye opening for them to put a face to the name on the book cover—and then to have a conversation with him and ask questions! They were a little starstruck.

*Mr. Schu, you should have asked me about his dog, Trinka. She was adorable, if a bit camera shy. My students were enamored!

Please borrow Stephen Savage's books from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops.

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