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Entries in School Visits (8)


Recent Fan Mail

One of my sincerest hopes is that the kids who send me letters and give me their drawings when I visit their schools know how much it means to me. I never imagined that I’d be the recipient of such sweet mementos back when I was first starting out in this career, and it’s incredibly flattering to get these darling gifts.

Fan mail to Christina Rodriguez.

Fan mail to Christina Rodriguez.

Leah and her sister Arika (ages 6 and 4) made these drawings for me when I visited the Lakes International Language Academy back in April. They both drew themselves holding my hand! I love how Arika added fireworks to the background and Leah her favorite bird. I’m the luckiest illustrator in the world!


Lakes International Literacy Celebration

Illustrator Christina Rodriguez with authors Tracy Nelson Maurer and Marsha Wilson Chall at LILA's Literacy Celebration.

Attention Lakes International parents! Please join me and authors Marsha Wilson Chall and Tracy Nelson Maurer this Tuesday for a special event at Lakes International Language Academy!

LILA’s 2nd Annual Literacy Celebration
: Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Place: Lakes International Language Academy, 246 11th Avenue SE, Forest Lake, MN 55025

Award-winning author Marsha Wilson Chall will be making a special school visit in the morning, and Tracy and I will be presenting in the evening during Family Night. There will be fun booth spaces with reading-related activities for children and parents, so be sure to stop by!

For more information and to reserve your books, please download the event flyer. We hope to see you there!


Another Great Visit to LILA

Author Tracy Nelson Maurer giving her presentation at Lakes International Language Academy.

It was a cold and snowy morning here in MN today, but Tracy Nelson Maurer and I had another great author/illustrator visit at Lakes International Language Academy (LILA). We’ve presented Storm Codes at the school several times over the years, but it’s always new and exciting since we get a different crop of students each time. I love meeting new generations of kids who enjoy our book!

Tracy and I are always mindful of how unique our author-illustrator relationship is for the publishing industry. We worked very closely together to bring the book to life, and I know the illustrations wouldn’t have turned out half as well if not for Tracy’s boat reference books, photos, networking with boat “nerds,” and enthusiastic support for historical accuracy. Looking back, I can't imagine doing the book any other way. But while Tracy and I had the pleasure of creating and promoting the book in tandem, folks should know our experience is the exception to the rule. Usually, a picture book’s author and illustrator rarely meet in person, much less hang out together! Moreover, an author normally has limits to their influence over the illustrator and the artwork. They don’t often enjoy a vote for the artist or contribute to the the look of the book the way Tracy did.

Over the weekend, Reading Minnesota posted an article I wrote about the author's traditional "hands-off" approach towards the illustrator (and how this is usually best), so please head on over their blog to check it out. I’m hoping my post clarifies one of the most common questions about children’s books and balances the unique experience I’ve written about here.

Thanks again to LILA for hosting us this morning!

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