Click here for the District's current e-newsletter.
Author and illustrator Laurie Keller came from Michigan to speak with kindergarteners and first and second graders about making books. Her visit was part of the school's March celebration of reading together, known as Pick a Reading Partner or PARP.
The children knew and loved Mrs. Keller's work—particularly Arnie, the Doughnut, starring a round, cakey, confection with a hole in the middle, iced and sprinkled.
"I was inspired to write my first Arnie book in a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop," said Ms. Keller. "I wondered if a doughnut ever got mad when a person tried to eat it."
Laurie Keller’s newest picture book We Are Growing! is part of the “Elephant & Piggie Like Reading” series created by Mo Willems, best known for his Caldecott Honor winning picture books Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and Knuffle Bunny: a cautionary tale.
“It also won the Theodor Seuss Geisel award,” Ms. Keller told the children. “Do you know who he is?”
“Dr. Seuss!!” they said.
Ms. Keller read the book to the children, pausing every so often to discuss haircuts, funny faces, and character motivation.
“I write my stories over and over and I draw my drawings over and over, too,” said Ms. Keller. Her first book, Scrambled States of America, took her one month to create, but Do unto Otters—a book about the golden rule—took her five years. “I wanted to make my book on manners fun.”
"If you ever stuck when you need to write a story, drawing a character is a great way to start," said Ms. Keller. “Let’s draw an otter together.” Each child was given a clipboard, paper and a pencil, and followed along.
Then, by popular demand, Ms. Keller drew Arnie, the Doughnut.