Ten writers for children. All with something to say.
The Origami Author
When I visit a school, I try to bring the students into my studio using slides. I even have a show called "Buster's Studio Visit" where my cat Buster is in nearly every shot, explaining how I make a book. This works especially well with younger grades. Since there are cats in just about every one of my books, it is fun to reveal their names and real life stories. I like to share my creative process as it evolves from book to book, sometimes briefly and sometimes more in-depth, especially if I know I will be workshopping with smaller groups of kids on actually making a book together. I point out how storyboards are like maps of the book and book-dummies establish the flow of the book and the "drama of the turning page". But at the end of every large presentation, I always fold origami with the group. Ever since illustrating FOLD ME A POEM written by Kristine O'Connell George, I have become known as the "Origami Author". Hundreds of paper frogs have been folded in a single day at a school. Teachers of kindergarten look up in fear when I announce we are going to fold together, but by the end, every student of all ages walks out with a paper frog whispering a poem or a story in their ear, which they can write down as soon as they return to their classroom. Whether I am visiting schools close to home in Minnesota or Wisconsin or as far away as India, origami delights and inspires writing and illustrating!