Friday, June 2, 2023

Award-Winning Author, Illustrator Visits Balmville School

Students and staff at the Balmville Elementary School in the Newburgh Enlarged City School District were treated to a visit by an award-winning author and illustrator.

Bryan Collier paid a special visit to the school yesterday. He is an illustrator known for his unique style combining watercolor and detailed collage. He is a four-time Caldecott Honor recipient for Trombone Shorty, Dave the Potter, Martin’s Big Words, and Rosa. His books have won many other awards as well, including six Coretta Scott King Illustrator Awards. His recent books include By and By, Thurgood, The Five O’Clock Band, and Between the Lines.

Collier is best known for illustrating children’s books. He won both the Coretta Scott King Award, as illustrator, and the Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award for Uptown, the first book he both wrote and illustrated.

During his visit, Collier discussed how his own creativity and imagination was sparked as a young boy when he saw a character that he resembled in the first book he read by himself, which was The Snow Day by Ezra Jack Keats.

Collier then gave his young audience a scenario using one of their classmates as the subject. He provided the students with a blank canvas and challenged them to use their creative minds to paint the scene. He provided the premise of an untold story and asked the students to create a world for their new main character. Together, they created an entire scene for their classmates. Collier then explained to the children that they just created the first page of their very own book.

Balmville students created their own collages and stories inspired by his influence. Their works can be seen on multiple bulletin boards throughout the school building.

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