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Author and illustrator visit Cedar Island Elementary School

Author and illustrator visit Cedar Island Elementary School

Students at Cedar Island Elementary School recently received a visit from author David LaRochelle and illustrator Mike Wohnoutka. The pair shared about the process of creating the various books they have worked on together, including “See the Dog” and “See the Cat.” 

Two men in front of a crowd of students, raising their hands

LaRochelle and Wohnoutka showed the students pictures of themselves when they were younger, as well as self portraits they had created in elementary school. They talked about the early stages of their career and what it takes to get a book published. LaRochelle showed students all of the rejection letters he had received, stressing the importance of not giving up.

“If I had quit after my first ten rejection letters, I wouldn’t have any books published,” LaRochelle shared.

The artist and illustrator read their book “See the Ghost” for the students, with some of their teachers playing the dog and cat and the students playing the flowers. They talked about how they were stronger as a team while working on their books because they could share ideas with each other.

Four adults in costumes with students watching

Wohnoutka shared how he goes about illustrating books, often only having the author's words to work off of. He did a step by step drawing of one of his characters, Max the dog. The students in the audience got to decide what Max was holding, where he was and what he was saying. LaRochelle and Wohnoutka then gave the students a drawing challenge to work on at home. 

Man drawing a dog, watched by students

The students had the chance to ask the author and illustrator questions, such as what was the first book they worked on together and what was their favorite book they worked on. At the end of the session, students got a preview of one of LaRochelle and Wohnoutka’s books that hasn’t been published yet, “Mr. Fox’s Game of No.” The author and illustrator led the students through the story with the help of Principal Dan Wald.