School Visit…Questions from students in Yorktown Heights, NY

What fun it was to see the students come to my presentation wearing their “Bob Crowns” with yum-yum bugs wiggling!

I enjoyed my visit with the first graders at Brookside Elementary earlier this month. It is a lot of work for librarians and teachers to prepare their students before an author visit….it is wonderful to see libraians take the time to work with their students and send follow up questions…after the visit. Thank you Mrs. Menzie!

Here are answers to some of the questions from the first graders. (I sent answers for all of your questions to Mrs. Menzie….you can find her in the library!)

Ms. Cohen and Mrs. Frey’s 1st grade 

What is your favorite book that you wrote and do you have any ideas for a new story (after the elephant book)?

It is hard to decide which is my favorite book. Right now I have been working on Elephant and I think it is my favorite book. But when I was working on Bob, I thought it was my favorite book. When I worked on Myrtle, I thought it was my favorite book!


My editor, Margaret sent me a new manuscript for a new picture book that was written by a different author. It is very sweet. I will be spending the next few months working on the illustrations for this book. Maybe it will be my favorite book until…

…I jump into my next book…which I will write and illustrate…and might just be my favorite book!

 Do you know why a picture book is only 32 pages long?

Thirty two pages fits very well on a printing press. A picture book is printed on one big piece of paper. When you fold and cut that  paper it needs to be in multiples of 8. This means…

A book could be 8 pages (very short)
16 pages (still short but just the right length for many board books)
32 pages is just right for a picture book…

…just the right for a parent to hold a child in their lap and read the book from cover to cover.

Or….for a child to read to herself!

Wendy Watson is doing a wonderful job explaining this and more about the process of making a picture book on her blog. She is a wonderful author and illustrator and a great friend. You should go to your library and check out her books…I am sure your library is full of them! My all time favorite…Father Foxes Penny Rhymes.

Here is a link to Wendy’s Blog:

 Do you plan to write any adult books?

No. I love to read adult books. I love to write and illustrate children’s books.

We think you should illustrate a book of nursery rhymes

I love nursery rhymes. I made individual board books using nursery rhymes….Little Bo Peep, Hector Protector, Little Miss Muffet and Diddle Diddle Dumpling. I designed these books so babies can sit in a parent’s lap and listen to…

…one rhyme at a time!


It would be fun to make a book full of rhymes. It is on my “to do” list!

 Mrs. Foley’s First Grade

Do you like skiing or rock climbing or other sports?  

I love skiing. I have been skiing since I was 12 years old. Now I do a lot more cross country skiing than downhill skiing. I can cross country ski right out my door…in the winter time.

I have not tried rock climbing….Except I do love to hike and some trails make me feel like I am rock climbing!

Hiking the Cascades in Washington State with my big sister.

 What others things do you like to do?

I also love to swim. I love to bike. I love to travel (with my sketchbook)
I go to concerts and listen to music and sketch in my sketchbook. I visit art museums and art galleries. I like to sit on my front porch and read a good book or in the winter sit by the wood stove and read. I enjoy gardening. We grow vegetables, flowers and berries. My husband makes great jam with our berries. We love to go out to eat and try new and different foods.

Front porch…a favorite place to read

What is your favorite food?

First favorite…Chocolate!
My second favorite food…purple carrots. They are delicious! They are purple on the outside and orange on the inside. They are very cool. You can grow them in a garden or sometimes find them at a farmer’s market.

Do you like writing or illustrating best?

I love to write and illustrate. I have to say the illustrating is easier for me. It takes me a long time to write just a few words. I love being able to do both.

 Ms. Jacob’s First Grade Class

 How are you doing today?

I am doing well. Thank you for asking. I spent the day with students at Chamberlin Elementary in South Burlington, Vermont. Now I am back in my studio.

Oops! I forgot to put dinner in the oven!

Excuse me…..

Now I am back.

Lasagna is in the oven.

 Do you write about your friends?

Sometimes friends, family and even neighbors get into my books. I included people I know in Where Does Joe Go and in The Purple Hat.

Mrs. Day’s First Grade Class

Why did you put Bob in Guinea Pigs Add Up and where DOES Joe go in real life?

You are very observant! I put Bob, (just part of him flying in from the corner of the page), in Guinea Pigs Add up because I thought it would be fun for kids to see him. I love painting his spots. I think Bob would make a great classroom pet!

As for Joe, it really is a mystery!

Why don’t you put one of your books on a T-shirt?

I have designed lots of T-shirts, but not using my books.
If you come to Vermont and visit the Farm Barn at Shelburne Farms you will see the staff wearing my drawings of a cow or a chicken on their shirts. You can also visit with the chickens, cows, goats, sheep, pigs and other animals…and walk the trails…see them make cheddar cheese…yum!

Here is a link to Shelburne Farms website and if you click on “watch the video” for milking a cow you will see how they milk a cow in one of my chicken T-shirts!

I see someone is wearing my cow shirt when they show kids how to milk a goat. How silly…. a chicken shirt to milk a cow and a cow shirt to milk a goat!

I hope I have answered your questions. If you have any more…just ask Mrs. Menzie…she knows where to find me!
Keep reading…Keep writing…Keep Drawing…and have fun!
I enjoyed meeting you…thanks for the fun day…tcp

Tracey Campbell Pearson

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