We were incredibly lucky to have award winning author and illustrator Jef Czekaj visit the Shaw. Jef visited a few years ago and it was wonderful to have him come back for another fun and informative author visit. Jef’s humorous and musical writing has found many fans in the Shaw library. His book Hip & Hop, Don’t Stop! is always one of the first books to be grabbed off the shelves.
Our K1, K2, and 1st grade students spent the past few weeks preparing for the author visit by reading some of Jef’s books including Hip & Hop, Don’t Stop!, Cat Secrets, Yes, Yes, Yaul! and Oink-A-Doodle-Moo. All of that reading prompted some wonderful discussion. Students also came up with questions to ask Jef during his visit. Questions ranged from what inspires Jef to asking about how he comes up with his raps. During the visit Jef talked about how even as a kid he always enjoyed drawing and writing stories. He went into detail about his writing process and how he practices drawing on a daily basis. Jef read one of his stories aloud to the students; he played music and rapped Yes, Yes, Yaul! Teachers and students alike were out of their chairs dancing and shouting along.
Jef also showed students how he goes about illustrating characters. Students shouted out character traits and Jef combined their ideas to make a brand new character on the fly. It was fast-paced, interactive, and fun. At the end of the visit every single student was given their very own copy of Hip & Hop in the House!
Everyone is still sharing accolades with me after the visit. Jef definitely made a lasting impression on the students. It was a fabulous time and we are so grateful to Wondermore for making the visit possible.
Mrs. Keohane is the School Librarian at the P.A. Shaw. She loves hockey, going to the beach, and reading (obviously!)