Kevin Henkes

I have spent the past two months preparing my first- and second-grade students for Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkes's visit to our school library. On March 23, he will chat with them about his bestselling books, his career, and his new book, Penny and Her Song. Kevin's books hold a special place in the hearts of children, parents, teachers, and librarians.

My students prepared for Kevin's visit by

*learning about the history of the Caldecott Medal;

*watching Owen on BookFlix;

*creating a podcast about Owen and Kitten's First Full Moon;

*examining his dust jackets;


*reading and reading and reading and reading and reading and reading and reading his beloved picture books;

*using ScreenChomp to create a video about one of his picture books;

*comparing and contrasting the illustrations in My Garden and Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse;

*dramatizing Kitten's First Full Moon;

*describing his illustrations to stuffed animals;

*looking up his books in the catalog;

*writing questions for the Q & A session;

*creating welcome signs;

*practicing how to stand in a signing line.

Kevin talks about his new mouse character, Penny. She's different from Lilly.

Kevin Henkes reads his manuscript aloud over and over and over.

Junonia is set in a place where Kevin and his family spend time during the summer.

Learn about the inspiration for Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse.

Download discussion guides and coloring sheets for many of his books.

Borrow Penny and Her Song from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops.


  1. So jealous of your first and second graders - Kevin Henkes is amazing. Have a wonderful visit.

  2. This is a great resource that I've bookmarked! Your students are very lucky.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Seems like your students have had a lot of fun! How do you decide what to do with the author visits?

  4. Thank you! We are excited for his visit.

  5. Hi, I recently heard your interview with Katie Davis on her podcast and came over to your site! I'm taking a Book Illustration class and my teacher just recommended that I look at Kevin Henkes work - and WOW - here you have all this information on him! What a great education for your students! And I really enjoyed this, too! Thanks very much, Mr. Schu!

  6. @ Kathy -Thank you for visiting. We are very excited to meet Kevin Henkes. :) -John

  7. Your site is a treasure! I so enjoyed listening to the stories by Kevin Henkes. To be able to see the quality of his work, starting from when he was so young, and hear the steps he takes with a project were like a really enjoyable vacation to someone else's day to day activities.
    I began writing children's stories when I was a very young Mom. And now as a grandmother I am illustrating and publishing them. Seeing that Kevin Henkes writes in notebooks uses simple tools and communicates so generously inspired me!
    Thanks for this great post!

  8. You all will have a GREAT visit. Kevin was in Raleigh NC last week and did an AMAZING job at the schools and local independent bookstore. He's a fabulous guest and the children will enjoy his drawings and reading. Have a great FRIDAY!


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