Children’s book author and illustrator Peter Reynolds visited DCD on Wednesday, May 23, to introduce his latest book, The Word Collector, and to talk to students about the creative process. He met with two groups of students in two separate sessions, kindergarten through second grade followed by third through fifth grades.
In the first session, when he showed the children his two favorite pages from the book, which were blank, they immediately understood he meant they would fill the pages with their own work. In response to a student’s remark about having his own guinea pig at home, a reference to the author’s book Stink and the Great Guinea Pigs Express, Mr. Reynolds encouraged him to write about his pet, saying “your guinea pig is different than mine, so you’ll tell a different story.”
When meeting with the third, fourth, and fifth graders, Mr. Reynolds talked about collecting interesting words. He also encouraged the children to keep a journal of ideas and drawings, something which he challenges himself to do every day. He told the story of how one night, when he was very tired, he put his pen on the page and promptly fell asleep. The next morning, he looked at the mark that he had made and was inspired to begin writing The Dot.
Mrs. Maloney’s kindergarten class brought an oversized collage they made based on the The Dot to display at the event. The author signed books for students and faculty and recognized kindergartner Blake Canty, whose birthday back in March prompted the visit as a special present from her mom Tamara, a principal in the Boston Public Schools and a friend of Mr. Reynolds.