Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Visit From Kirsten Hall

This is Book (with and without his unique jacket).  

Oh, Lordy!  I am simply in love Kirsten Hall's first trade picture book.

The Jacket is at once a gentle reminder of the simplicity of my childhood - sitting undisturbed and alone with a favorite book - and a smart, up-to-date take on creativity and overcoming disappointment.  In this way The Jacket feels timeless.

Book is a friend.  Book deserves to be discovered, read, and embraced.  So, when our kindergarten and first grade students had an opportunity to visit with Book and his creator Kirsten Hall we were all very excited.

During her reading Kirsten shared Book's desire to be loved and cared for "in a way all favorite books know" and the fact that sometimes being a much loved book can lead to some messy situations.

Especially when coupled with a playful dog and a puddle of ill-placed mud.

Oh, no!

Poor Book was a mess!  But luckily his friend, a resourceful little girl with some art supplies, designed a jacket for Book to keep him covered.

After the reading there was time for a question and answer session. It was then that Kirsten credited the idea for The Jacket to her son and encouraged the children to think of further adventures for Book. Hopefully we can enjoy more of his escapades in the future.

To get the students moving and actively involved, Kirsten brought along some supplies of her own. Each child was given a notebook, a large piece of paper, colored pencils, markers, scissors and glue and invited to create their own book jackets.

In this moment Kirsten's experience in early childhood education and her immense generosity became increasingly apparent.  She sat on the floor with the children and delighted in their creations from RoboCops and monsters to princesses and aliens.

In the end I couldn't resist buying several copies of The Jacket for my young great nephew Easton and great niece Lexi.  Oh, and one for myself which included a personalized message from Book whose speech bubble reads, "I love Gary!"

I love you too Book!


Unknown said...

Gary, I truly couldn't have enjoyed the visit more. Thank you for bringing your class to spend time with me! And for then writing a blog post about it! You'll forever be one of the teachers I admire most. Book, too. xo Kirsten

Gary said...

Thanks Kirsten! We always have a place for you and Book in our classroom.

Steve Reed said...

Cute! I like how you were able to involve the kids in a book-related activity.

Pauline said...

Always, always, always after I read these school posts, I want to come sit on the floor in your classroom and let you be my teacher!

Gary said...

Steve - A related activity always goes over well. Dan Yaccarino, George O'Connor, and Tad Hills drew pictures and had the kids create their own. Zachariah OHora did the Otter Dance. I wonder what I will do when/if I ever publish a children's book. Hopefully a monkey will be involved.

Pauline - What a beautiful thing to write and imagine.


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