Awful Aardvarks…Puppies….and School…oh my…

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The Awful Aardvarks in the cubbies! They’re ready for school….
Picture from:

THE AWFUL AARDVARKS GO TO SCHOOL

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Written by Reeve Lindbergh
Illustrated by Tracey Campbell Pearson

Viking 1997
Hardcover ISBN 0-670-85920-6
Softcover ISBN 0-14-055488-2

Wilbur is on his way to puppy school…First lesson….sit.IMG_3097Happy start to a new school year!…to kids…teachers…parents…and puppies…tcp

Ask the Author…Questions & Drawings from students…

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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.

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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?”
…Totally!

“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.

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“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.

School Visit…Watercolors & Poetry

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

http://www.traceycampbellpearson.com

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 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

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The student’s watercolors lined the walls…I was given three of the originals to bring home…They’re lovely…

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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.

http://www.traceycampbellpearson.com/books/themoon.htm

School Visits & Elephants in PA…

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.

ELEPHANT'S STORY by Tracey Campbell Pearson published by Farrar, Straus, Giroux Fall 2013
ELEPHANT’S STORY by Tracey Campbell Pearson
published by Farrar, Straus, Giroux Fall 2013

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

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Another Fun School Visit in State College, PA…and all that jazz…

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.

Easterly Parkway Elementary has lots of ideas about where Joe goes!
Easterly Parkway Elementary has lots of ideas about where Joe goes!

The kids were prepped and ready for an author visit.

Students prepping before an author visit..very cool!
Students prepping before an author visit..very cool!

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.

Riding the J train…NYC Subway
Riding the J train…NYC Subway

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 we-wish-you

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

Giant Bob…Regular Size Librarian…another school visit in PA

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When a giant Bob greeted me outside the library…I knew it was going to be a fun school visit. All those spots glued on by kids at Gray’s Woods Elementary…amazing!

PATTERNED ELEPHANT LETTERS on a welcome sign!…what fun.

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They noticed I love to put patterns in my books…students even made colorful little Bobs.

Thank you, Anne…for all of the time and thought put into preparing  Gray’s Woods  Elementary for my author visit. It’s so much fun to walk into a school and see the students excited…before I even begin a presentation…

A Great school!

Great day!

Thank you all!…State College, PA knows how to take care of visiting authors!…tcp

PS..Here’s a link to the Elephant Alphabet coloring page on my website. Just click on Elephant’s Activity Kit and there are letters to color, finger puppets and more. You can download the and make patterns on Elephant’s letters …spell your name…make a word…enjoy…have fun! 

http://www.traceycampbellpearson.com/books/elephant.html

ELEPHANT'S STORY by Tracey Campbell Pearson published by Farrar, Straus, Giroux Fall 2013

A School Visit in PA…A Children’s Book Editor Works in a Slice of Cheese in NYC…?

I spent a great week visiting schools in State College, PA.

Radio Park Elementary is full of students and teachers that are excited about reading, writing and drawing. A great school. A fun school visit.

One of the best parts of visiting schools is getting artwork and letters from kids!…
I was barely home in Vermont…when letters started arriving…I spent this morning answering them.

One of my favorite comments came from a child that likes that “my editor works in a building that looks like a slice of cheese.” I showed students a picture of the Flatiron Building so they could see where I go when I say “I’m go to see my publisher”.

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Thank you to Mary Robert and her second graders for all your thoughtful letters…Here is a small sample…I’m off to the post office to mail all of the replies!

Elephant and Gracie helped me sign books in my hotel the night before my visit…

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The day of my visit..I was greeted by this poster of MYRTLE in the library. It was drawn by a parent (and artist)…I love how she picked up on the patterns!

Myrtle Poster by parent
Myrtle Poster by parent

I had fun presenting and drawing with the students…I left drawings for the school…they were stuck all over the walls!

More drawings from presentation
More drawings from presentation

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Mrs. Grim’s Kindergarteners gave me an Elephant before I even left the school!
I brought him back to my hotel…tucked him in…and Gracie read a story to 2 Elephants that night…Thank you Mrs. Grim and Kindergarteners!

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Thank you all! A special thank you to a swell librarian…Emily Herring…for all of your hard work. I enjoyed meeting everyone. It was a great day.

To the kids in Radio Park..keep reading, writing and drawing!…tcp