It's a great time to be a kid, with so many great children's authors writing books.
In my classroom, we know some authors so well.
We watched Kate DiCamilla online celebrate Mercy Watson's birthday.
We celebrated Dot Day by reading all of Peter Reynold's books.
We laugh along with Elephant and Piggie and the Pigeon as we enjoy all books by Mo.
We cheered when watching the live announcement of the Newbery Honor award for Pam Munos Ryan's book, Echo.
Then today an author visited my school - Jarrett Krosoczka.
You know his books - The Lunch Lady series - Punk Farm - The Playtpus Police Squad.
(If you don't, take time to get his books, enjoy them and then share with kids!!)
So far, at age 38, he has written and illustrated 27 books, co-authored 2, illustrated 4 and he has one coming out on May 17th (yes, I'll be at the bookstore buying it on the 17th - exactly in one month!!)
Favorite quotes from his presentation:
"I published a book in 3rd grade and all the lessons I learned to write that book, I still use today - I brainstorm, draft, revise and edit."
"I love to use my imagination."
"Even after LOTS of rejection letters from publishers, I did not give up. I did not quit."
"It's a wonderful thing to be bored. It is important to be bored."
"What I hope you remember from meeting me today is that my career started in school and in my free time, I used it to do what I love - write and draw. I hope you use your free time to create."
After hearing Jarrett's story, seeing the process he follows to create books and even watching him effortlessly sketch a few of his characters on the easel, I returned to my classroom with my class. I told them to use their iPad and explore Jarrett's website. In minutes, kids were collaborating to create comics and sketching ideas for animal stories. Seeing how engaged they were, I thought about how I had lessons I had planned to teach for the rest for the day but all could be held and taught tomorrow. I decided instead, we needed to be like Jarrett today and have time to "be bored"!
By 3pm, we met in a Closing Circle and shared. One pair had drafted a dog and cat comic. Another a party favor comic. One group was creating an animal school. One was sketching a rock band. All enjoyed time to be "bored" so their imagination could work and they could create!