Saturday, February 27, 2010

Anna Dewdney Visits EES

On February 12th, EES had a very special visitor!  Thanks to the generous support of our very own PTO, Vermont children's book author and illustrator, Anna Dewdney, spent the entire day with us.  Anna is the author of the well-known picture books Llama Llama Red Pajama, Llama Llama Mad at Mama, and Llama Llama Misses Mama, among others.

Ms. Dewdney shared with us how she gets her ideas, and where she does her writing and illustration.  She read aloud to us several of her books, including a sneak preview of her latest Llama Llama creation, Llama Llama Holiday Drama, which will be published Fall 2010.  We were the very first school in the world (!!!) to hear this story.  The proofs for this newest book had just arrived in the mail earlier that week, so they were literally hot off the press.  How cool is that?!   One very astute child was very concerned that the pages were not folded and stapled.  A fabulous observation coming from a Kindergartner.  Anna described the stages of how a book is made, and showed us with these large proofs how they will be folded and then sewn into "signatures" to make a 32 page picture book.

Ms. Dewdney also illustrated for us while she spoke with the audience.  Children watched while her characters came alive on paper.  We are very pleased that we could keep several of these drawings, which we hope to frame and display in the Learning Center.

Anna Dewdney's newest published picture book is Roly Poly Pangolin, written in her signature rhyming style, about a baby pangolin.   What's amazing is how many people had never heard of pangolins, including myself, until we read this book.  A pangolin is an endangered mammal that lives in parts of India and southeast Asia, has scales for protection and an incredibly long tongue, much like an anteater (but they are not related). Click here to visit Anna's webpage about pangolins. Anna traveled to Vietnam to Cuc Phuong National Park to see pangolins up close, and has pledged to donate a portion of the proceeds of the sale of her book to saving pangolins.  Visit the website to find out more information about saving the pangolin population.

I am very pleased that the children and teachers of EES had this enriching opportunity to meet and hear Anna Dewdney speak.  And I am so glad that Anna took time out of her busy schedule to drive up this way and spend the day with us.  Thank you, Anna!