I LOVE when I get to use that title. It’s usually the same one I use for every author visit. Ok, I should be more inventive, but hey, that’s what happened, right?
Anyhow, Robinson (and especially Rm. 202) LOVES their authors, but this one seemed extra special. Most of the authors we’ve hosted have been amazing, but most of them have also been women (yes, I’m talking about you Mary Casanova, Deborah Hopkinson, Kate Klise, Betty Birney and Lisa Campbell Ernst!). Oh, ok–we have had a male visit us before, and although not an author, Mr. Schu was equally amazing. But this time our new author friend was an African-American male!
I already told you a little about how we were introduced to Don Tate when we visited the library. We also spent several weeks reading (and loving) his books and admiring his illustrations. The other day we even tried our own hands at art like Bill Traylor in It Jes’ Happened (which we learned today was his FIRST BOOK! Man–what a great way to start your career! This book won awards!!).
After we read the book, we collected the information we’d learned about Bill from the story:
Then we decided to do the same thing!
We found our canvases, got our paint (only blue, red, yellow and brown!) and got busy sharing things we had kept deep inside (which was a line from the story).
We ended up with some quite fantastic masterpieces!
If you want to see what some of us said about this experience, check out our blogs here.
Ok, so the day finally came and this was us:
— Jen Bearden (@jbeardensclass) January 31, 2017
We headed down to the library to FINALLY meet our new friend and learn some amazing things about being an author and illustrator. He talked to us about being gritty and not quitting, about how everyone has their own special talent, about how to make masterpieces out of your mistakes and also how it TAKES A YEAR TO MAKE A BOOK! You better believe I’ll mention that the next time a first grader tells me that they’re done after 10 minutes! LOL I went live several times during the visit and the easiest way to share that is through this link to our Periscope channel. It’s totally worth a few minutes to click on that link!
He talked, he listened, he answered our questions, and he DREW FOR US!!
We listened, we laughed, we learned and then…
— Jen Bearden (@jbeardensclass) February 1, 2017
Thanks for your time, your books, and your inspiration Don Tate!