We have a love of diverse books in Rm. 202 (thanks to some book gifts from our district, some great blog posts I’ve read this past year and thanks to Eyeseeme and their amazing bookstore FULL of books with diverse and powerful characters), and so we were DELIGHTED to hear about how Don Tate is coming to visit our school at the end of the month!
As with most of our visiting authors, Mrs. Meihaus works hard with teachers and kids to get us familiar with the author’s (and in this case illustrator’s) work beforehand so we have something to base our new learning upon. We can also really raise the level of excitement and anticipation as they day draws near and help kiddos think of what they might want to talk to our visitor about when they are here.
We gathered in the library classroom and Mrs. Meihaus introduced us to our new friend, Don Tate.
She started with a short bio, and showed us some of his books.
While he has written several books, he is mainly know as an illustrator. Our next step was to learn more about how he tackles his images. We uses primarily paint, and we learned more about the differences in how illustrations look when he uses watercolors versus acrylic paints. He also has some images that include pen and ink on top of those colors. We took a look at many of his books with our partners and tried to identify how they were similar to each other.
What’s great is that this was easier work for us because we’ve been working on “getting to know” authors and illustrators all year with our #classroombookaday challenge. I LOVE that my kiddos can see a book and name who wrote it or drew the pictures just by sight. I love that they can name and appreciate the people who took such time and energy to create the amazing texts we read and enjoy. They had great ideas about what they saw that was the same in different images and could name the medium he had used to create them! Great job, Rm. 202 kiddos!
Before we left, she read one of the books I’d been wanting to share with the class anyway–Ron’s Big Mission— and we loved it. What an inspiration to hear about a little boy who did whatever it took to get a library card, and what a tragedy that in AMERICA he was not able to get one. I think it’s important to tell his story. Reading took him so far in his life!
Mrs. Meihaus shared many titles with us, and while I’d LOVE to read them all, there are LOADS of other books in our to-be-read pile that we want to get to, as well. Here’s the plan for the ones we’ll share this week and next in preparation for his visit (and just because they’re GREAT BOOKS!):
We are excited to meet our new illustrator friend in person and talk with him about how he does his great work! Stay tuned for more of the story after he visits us on January 31st. 🙂