A Sick Day for Amos McGee (written by him, illustrated by her) and And Then It's Spring (written by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Ms. Stead) at our local bookstore. My daughters initially didn't have much interest. To them, hearing Erin or Philip Stead read A Sick Day for Amos McGee was no different than hearing me read it to them. But as it turned out, Erin Stead did something very special that caught the attention of my 6-year-old aspiring artist. She not only explained how she had made the illustrations for Amos, but she brought with her examples of them at all their stages - as sketches, woodcuts, and prints. We hadn't even known that the illustrations were prints from woodcuts!
The Steads could not have been more charming or gracious. In response to my inquiries about how my daughter might be able to try printmaking, they suggested potato prints, which I'll now look into (any tips for her not-very-artistic mother are appreciated!). And my easily frustrated daughter was thrilled to hear Ms. Stead talk about how many mistakes she makes, how many attempts she throws out, and how many she rectifies with her handy eraser.
Are your children interested in hearing authors and illustrators read from their work? Are you? Who has been the most interesting or inspiring author or illustrator you've heard?