Each year, the Windward Parents Association generously sponsors author/illustrator visits for Windward students. Beginning in the 2006-07 school year, the author/illustrator visits have given students the opportunity to learn more about their favorite books and get their questions about writing and art answered from the creators themselves. Windward’s librarians prepare students for each visit by having them read the visiting author/illustrator’s books and helping them prepare questions to ask during the visit.
This year, Evan Turk visited middle school students on February 19, and Mac Barnett visited lower school students on February 23. Due to the pandemic, the visits took place on a virtual platform. In place of in-person book signings, prior to each visit, families were able to purchase signed bookplates from each author/illustrator. Presentations took place via Zoom and were moderated by librarians Ms. Dunn, Ms. Girardi, and Ms. Prichett. Due to the virtual nature of the event, for the first time in its 15-year history, the author/illustrator visits combined students from both Manhattan and Westchester campuses.
Manhattan Middle School and Westchester Middle School students received a presentation from award-winning author and illustrator Evan Turk, where he took students through several illustrations in his books and detailed the use of symbolism with patterns, designs, and colors. “Middle school students were enthralled with Mr. Turk’s explanations of his illustration and writing process,” Windward’s Supervisor of Library Services Stephanie Dunn shared. “Being able to see his studio and works of art was highly engaging for the students."
Manhattan Lower School and Westchester Lower School students were visited by New York Times-bestselling author Mac Barnett. In his presentation, he did a read aloud of some of his favorite books, including “Guess Again!” and “Hi, Jack!” Ms. Dunn said, “Mr. Barnett kept students’ interest throughout his presentation with his engaging style.” In Mr. Barnett’s fun and interactive presentation, he talked about his path to becoming an author and the process of writing a book.
Thank you to the Windward Parents Association for sponsoring these informative events for Windward students.