Lo­cal il­lus­tra­tor and au­thor duo pro­vide books for Gar­net stu­dents

Kent County News - - SOCIAL SCENE -

CH­ESTER­TOWN — Ch­ester­town au­thor and il­lus­tra­tor duo Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr vis­ited H.H. Gar­net Ele­men­tary school to talk about the process of mak­ing books and to give away copies of their re­cent re­leases, “The Real McCoys” and “Ev­ery­where, Won­der.”

Swanson and Behr gave two as­sem­blies. The first, for the third-, fourth- and fifth-graders, fo­cused on their novel “The Real McCoys,” an il­lus­trated comedic mys­tery about Moxie and Mil­ton, a sis­ter-and-brother team who must work to­gether to over­come their in­di­vid­ual short­com­ings and fig­ure out who stole their school’s beloved mas­cot.

Swanson and Behr used the book as an op­por­tu­nity to talk about the power of col­lab­o­ra­tion, both how it works in their own au­thor and il­lus­tra­tor partnership and how it can be use­ful in com­plet­ing projects or solv­ing prob­lems.

The sec­ond assem­bly, for pre-kin­der­garten- through sec­ond-graders, cen­tered on “Ev­ery­where, Won­der,” a pic­ture book that urges young read­ers to no­tice and share the grand and small won­ders in their worlds, and to use them to shape their own sto­ries.

Swanson and Behr’s daugh­ter Alden and son Kato, who are Gar­net fourth and sec­ond graders, re­spec­tively, in­tro­duced their par­ents at the start of each assem­bly.

Behr vis­ited each of Gar­net’s 19 class­rooms to an­swer ques­tions and sign and ded­i­cate a free book for ev­ery stu­dent and teacher.

They were joined by Kent County Youth Ser­vices Li­brar­ian Natalie Lane, who gave short pre­sen­ta­tions about the li­brary’s free pro­grams and re­sources for chil­dren, in­clud­ing the an­nual May the Fourth cel­e­bra­tion.

The do­na­tion of 370 books was made pos­si­ble by the con­tri­bu­tions of more than 60 individuals and or­ga­ni­za­tions who con­trib­uted to an on­line fundraiser.

“We couldn’t believe how quickly we were able to raise the money,” Behr said. “Peo­ple are ea­ger to sup­port our schools and un­der­stand the value of kids hav­ing a book to call their own.”

Ac­cord­ing to Gar­net Prin­ci­pal Brenda Rose, “the as­sem­blies, class­room vis­its and the books them­selves have cre­ated con­sid­er­able ex­cite­ment at Gar­net in the weeks since the pre­sen­ta­tion.”

Rose said, in their classes and on their own, stu­dents have been read­ing and dis­cussing the two books, and many have de­cided to write, il­lus­trate, and cre­ate their own books.

“It just shows the power of books to stim­u­late cre­ativ­ity and pro­mote learn­ing,” Swanson said.

Swanson and Behr plan to spon­sor another fundraiser in the fall with hopes of rais­ing enough to pur­chase books for each stu­dent and teacher at Rock Hall Ele­men­tary and Galena Ele­men­tary.

“The idea worked so well at Gar­net,” Behr said. “We’d love to ex­tend it to the en­tire county.”

Robbi Behr, right, and Matthew Swanson, top left, smile with Gar­net Ele­men­tary School stu­dents.

Matthew Swanson, sec­ond from left, smiles with Gar­net Ele­men­tary School stu­dents. He and Robbi Behr gave away copies of their books “The Real McCoys” and “Ev­ery­where, Won­der” to third, fourth and fifth grade stu­dents.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.