Saturday, March 31, 2018

Welcoming Monica Wellington

I have my own version of superheroes. I enjoy Wonder Woman and Superman but they cannot hold a candle to the talented folks who write and illustrate children's books. So, it was a great thrill and honor to welcome children's book author and illustrator Monica Wellington into my classroom earlier this month.

Monica's books have been treasured additions to my classroom explorations over the years. It started with an inquiry-based, Reggio Emilia inspired study of bakeries when I taught kindergarten. Her book Mr. Cookie Baker was the perfect addition to our classroom library.

The wonderful book Crêpes by Suzette was a helpful resource when another kindergarten class was studying France. The book is now out-of-print but it lives on in a fantastic app that I've spent many, many hours enjoying with my great nephew. He's learned beaucoup French words and phrases from the app and is determined to visit Le Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris because of the videos embedded within the app.

I reached out to Monica Wellington many years ago and a visit has been in the works for quite a while. Happily, the stars finally aligned and we scheduled a visit with a few Pre-K classes as well as the First and Second graders. As spring was approaching she chose Zinnia's Flower Garden to read and discuss.

Monica Wellington reads her book Zinnia's Flower Garden alongside ASL interpreter Rick Rubin for the children in Pre-K 

She brought along a large bouquet of flowers for the children to make observational drawings. She walked the children through the process of writing a book, from idea to publication (a two year undertaking!). And she held an informative, fun Q&A.

There is more than one way to capture an image

Children also had an opportunity to take home autographed copies of Zinnia's Flower Garden and Apple Farmer Annie. Monica personalized each one with a sweet message and a drawing. She even contributed a big book version of her first children's book Who is Tapping at my Window? to our classroom library!

You can also read about Monica's visit (in her own words) by visiting her blog - click here.

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