“It’s 2017. I’m waiting for my book. She said she would write a book about me. Instead, she wrote a story about a penguin. I ate the manuscript. She wrote it again. She drew pictures and made a dummy. She sent it off before I got a chance to eat it. I’m hoping her editor doesn’t like it. Then she can get started on my book. For now, I keep looking at her. I think she’s feeling guilty, because she’s drawing lots of pictures of me. I’ll keep you posted”
What fun to go to my mailbox and find these wonderful letters and drawings from students in Ms. Montemayor’s class at Gray’s Woods Elementary in Port Matilda, Pa. Thank you! I love them.
Here are answers to your questions:
“Do you like doing what you do?”
…I love doing what I do! I walk into my studio each day…turn on music…and draw and paint….or I sit in my comfy chair…with quiet all around…and write a story…and I can do all of this in my pajamas!
“Why did being an author and illustrator inspire you?’
…I love to read. I love art. I love making art and writing stories. I love watching my stories turn into picture books.
“Is it fun sending writing back and forth?”
…(to my editor) It’s a lot of work writing things over and over and sending them back and forth to my editor. However, it is rewarding. I always end up with a piece of writing that I think is much better than the one I started with.
“What do you do in your spare time?”
…Lots. I love the outdoors. I love to cook and eat. I love to garden. I swim at an indoor pool several days a week. I bike. I ski. I practice yoga. I love to go for walks and hikes in the woods. I’m waiting to hear if I will have a puppy. He will take up a lot of spare time…but he’ll like taking walks.
“What is your first book ever?”
…I made my first book ever in 2nd grade. It was about a bluebird. I gave it a red construction paper cover. I used crayons for the art. My first published book was We Wish You a Merry Christmas. It was published in 1983.
I was at a book festival this Spring. Brooke, a mom, came by with her family. She asked me if I would sign her copy of this book. It was her favorite book when she was little and now it’s a favorite with her children. Her parents gave it to her in 1989…I signed it for her…in 2015!
Math question: How many years after Brooke’s parents gave her the book did I sign the book for Brooke?
Bonus math question: How many years after the book was published did I sign the book for Brooke?
“Do you have your drawings at home?”
…Yes. They’re all over my studio. I have flat files, big long skinny drawers, filled with art. I have framed art scattered about from past exhibits. I have towers of sketchbooks.
“Do you think making books all day is fun?”
“Wut wus yor last book you wot?”
…The last book I wrote was ELEPHANT’S STORY. The last book I illustrated was TUCK-IN TIME by Carole Gerber.
“How do you publish your books?”
…I don’t actually publish them. I write the stories and draw the pictures. My publisher turns my pictures and stories into books. Farrar Straus Giroux has been the publisher for many of my books. They are part of Macmillan Publishers and are in this building in New York City. It is called the Flatiron. It is very cool. I think it’s shaped like a slice of cake. Some people think it’s shaped like a slice of cheese.
“What is the best book you wrote?”
…I haven’t made my best book yet. I’m still working on that.
“How many books have you written?”
…I wanted to have 20 books published by the time I was 40 years old. I did that. Then I stopped counting. I just keep making books. You can go to this link on my website and count my books…then you can tell me and I’ll know the next time someone asks me this question! http://www.traceycampbellpearson.com/books01.htm
“Do you travel a lot?”
…I’m not sure if I travel a lot. Some people travel all the time. I travel “a bit”. I travel to visit schools. I go to New York City to meet with my publisher, see my daughter and friends…go to museums…and eat…and eat…and eat. I like to travel for fun around the country and to Europe. I like cities. I like countryside. I like to bring my sketchbook.
“Did you have eney pets when you wer a kid?”
…Yes. I had a cat named Smokey. He was gray and liked to sleep in drawers.
…and your school is called Gray’s Woods….that’s cool
I enjoyed your letters and drawings. I enjoyed meeting everyone. You have a great school. Thank you Room 81!…Keep reading…keep writing…keep drawing…tcp
*Answers to math questions. I signed the book for Brooke 26 years after her parents gave it to her. I signed Brooke’s book 32 years after it was published.
My studio is full of artwork, writing and fond memories of my school visits to State College, Pa. this Spring.
Corl Street Elementary had artwork in every corner of the school. They explored so many of my titles…I don’t think they missed one…and I think I’m up to 40 books…I’m not sure…I need to count…If someone wants to go to my website and count…let me know…I wanted to have 20 books by the time I was 40…I did that…then I stopped counting
Students re-created watercolors from my book THE MOON…poem by Robert Louis Stevenson.
The Moon by Robert Louis Stevenson Illustrated by Tracey Campbell Pearson
published by Farrar Straus Giroux ISBN 0-374-35046-9
Booklist Editor’s Choice, Top of the list 2006
School Library Journal, A Book of the Year, 2006
The student’s watercolors lined the walls…I was given three of the originals to bring home…They’re lovely…
Thanks again to Paije and to all the teachers and students who made my school visit so special.
Corl Street Elementary is a cool school.
The 5th graders wrote about bullies and their responses to my book MYRTLE…but that’s for another post…Today we’re talking poetry and painting!….enjoy…tcp.
Here’s a link to the book page on my website if you would like to learn more about how I turned the poem into a book.
These wonderful elephant drawings were created by young artists at Corl Street Elementary in State College, PA….
Elephant and Gracie are thrilled that everyone is having fun with their book.
Thank you to Mrs. McGann’s second graders for the lovely letters and fantastic elephants!….including a drawing from Mrs. McGann!…I love to see teachers draw along side their students!….This is one cool school!….tcp
Wow…My mailbox is full of kids letters and art…and yesterday a little bit of jazz! …after another visit to another great elementary school in State College, PA.
They were busy at Easterly Parkway Elementary long before I arrived.
The kids were prepped and ready for an author visit.
These students and their librarian, Laura Alterio, were talking about me while I was still home in Vermont! I think I answered their questions in my presentation…but let’s go over these to be sure!…
My favorite art medium?…watercolor…pen and ink…pencil…
My favorite color?…..purple….
Where I live?….Vermont
My hidden talent?…I wonder what that is?….Along with writing and illustrating picture books there are lots of things I like to do…I like to swim..bike…cross country ski…hike….garden…eat…bake…listen to music…travel…draw while I travel…
I love to draw while I’m on subways…I draw fast…I can draw a person if they are on the subway for just one stop….could that be a hidden talent?… …maybe.
My first book?….I wrote a book about a blue bird in 2nd grade and gave it a red construction paper cover…self published… The first book that was published by a grown up publisher…We Wish You A Merry A Merry Christmas….1983
Somehow this librarian managed to get pictures during my presentation…not an easy task…I do not stand still…Thank you, Laura!
…and what about the jazz?
I talk to students about working to music in my studio…the last two books Stan Getz and Miles Davis. A Dave McKenna CD just arrived in the mail from Nichol. She has connections to Dave and his family and thought I might enjoy listening to his music. I love it. I’m listening to Dave as I write this…and enjoying every minute…Thank you, Nichol!
Thanks to Laura and to everyone at Easterly Parkway Elementary…I enjoyed spending the day with fellow readers…writers and artists!…tcp