Sunday, April 24, 2016
I've been meaning to write a little something about my amazing school visits that I went to during February and March. I went to the Silverwood and Pearson schools in Washington and then was down in Portland and visited Jason Lee K-8, Hiteon Elementary, and my alma mater Chehalem Elementary! I talked to over 250 kids among the 10 class presentations spanning k-5th grade. It was SO MUCH FUN!!! I loved getting to share my books and my book making process with so many awesome kids. All of the classes were so engaged and respectful and they asked great questions. They even sent me stacks of amazing thank you letters and drawings! Opening the mail was like Christmas morning!!!
It was such a fun experience especially to go back to my old elementary school and walk the halls where I spent 1st-6th grade. So much had changed and yet so much was different. I even gave a presentation in my old 5th grade classroom! Needless to say that was a surreal experience being in the same place I once was 24 years ago-sitting on the carpet watching a picture book illustrator talk about their books and book making process- but now I was the one standing up in front of the class talking about my very own books. (AND they let me go in the Teacher's Lounge and have Rice Krispy treats!-BOOYA!)
The privilege of making picture books has been one of the highlights of my life- achieving a lifelong dream and getting to share it with the world is something that is hard for me to put into words. And it turns out the sharing part was even more rewarding than I'd hoped it could be. I loved every second of sharing my passions with kids and I hope that they took away even the smallest bit of inspiration from my visit. I looked out onto a sea of little faces, and saw myself staring back at me. It was a moment that transcended time. Rarely does one get such an opportunity to experience their life in such a full circle manner, and I am forever grateful to have had the chance.