During January, we have been talking about medals books can earn, and have specifically talked about the Caldecott medal with our younger students. Which made this a perfect time to connect with an illustrator! A librarian friend of mine, Jennifer Reed, had recently posted on Facebook about her Skype visit with Debbie, the illustrator of I'M BORED! Debbie mentioned that she was interested in connecting with other schools and to email if you were interested. Always looking for a way to connect our students, I emailed and we set up a virtual visit for mid January, with a practice connection a week or so before. It was during our practice Skype that I mentioned the idea of a Google Hangout (GHO). For some reason, in our district, the image during a Skype is a little blurry. It seems to be better during a GHO. So in the middle of our Skype, we tried a GHO! The really cool thing was she could demonstrate how she illustrates on her computer. I knew our students would love this part!
To prepare, even though I have read I'M BORED! to many of our students, I asked the 2nd grade teachers to read it to their classes. It is such a fun book, written by Michael Ian Black, about a child who is bored. Haven't we all heard a child utter those words? The little girl then meets a potato, who is also bored! She tries to come up with ideas to entertain the potato, which of course keeps her entertained! The illustrations are so fun, and of course the story has students giggling as they listen to it!
After everyone was settled, Debbie shared with us how she created the illustrations for I'M BORED. She talked about how the author and illustrated rarely talk or even meet during the creating of the book. Then students were treated to an interactive reading of NAKED, also written by Michael Ian Black and illustrated by Ohi. The students were able to read the word NAKED, which had them all howling with laughter!! (See first picture)
Students were able to ask questions like when Debbie began illustrating, and if she has written any books.
They were excited to hear that she has written and illustrated a book that will be coming our May, 2015 called WHERE ARE MY BOOKS? We can't wait to add this to our library collection!
Our students were treated to another creation, this one with torn paper. They couldn't wait to share this technique with our new art teacher! I would not be surprised if we didn't have a few budding illustrators at Curtis!
I am always so appreciative of the kindness of authors and illustrators, such as Debbie, who will so freely give their time to share their passion with our students. It is a wonderful experience for our students, and it brings literature to life for them! Thank you, Debbie Ridpath Ohi, for a great time!