School and Library Visits
Deadlines permitting, Jon Buller will go anywhere for school or library visits. (Susan Schade doesn't do them at all.)
My current school program is called "THE PINK CAKE." I talk to the kids while drawing pictures on a two large pre-colored sheets of watercolor paper. While drawing on the first sheet, I tell how I first got interested in drawing as a kid, and how that led to a career making up stories and drawing pictures for books. Here is how the first sheet looks before I start drawing:
And this is how it looks (more or less) when I am done:
Then I take a second pre-colored sheet, and I ask the kids for ideas that we can use to make up a story together. These all come out different, of course, but here is one that was the result of a recent program in Tampa. The kids decided to have Godzilla try to eat Hawaii, while various other characters tried to prevent this awful event:
This presentation works well for grades 2 to 6. For younger kids I can tell the story from one of our books, like NO TOOTH, NO QUARTER! instead of discussing my career. And then this can be followed up with the same sort of request for story ideas.
For smaller groups (70 kids or so and under) I can do a different sort of program, called HOW TO BE A CARTOONIST. Paper, pencils, and pens are passed out to the kids, and they are guided through the process of creating a single-page cartoon of four panels. In drawing the first panel they are asked to follow me quite closely, step by step, to give them some idea of the basics of cartooning. In the remaining three panels they get to use what they have learned to finish the cartoon however they like, while I go around offering individual comments and suggestions.
The presentations can include a book signing or not, depending on the policy of the school or library.
The charge is $250 for the first presentation, and $150 for each additional presentation on the same day. There is an additional mileage charge of $50 if the destination is more than 50 miles from Lyme, Connecticut. If the destination is outside of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, then expenses may increase to cover hotel and airfare.
Here is a flier that was prepared by the Library Media Specialist at Leverett Elementary School that includes some photos of a program that took place there. And here are some cartoons drawn by Ms. McNamara's class of second graders at Mile Creek School, and by Ms. Farquhar's class of third graders at Charles Barnum Elementary School, and by Ms. Olhoff's class of fourth graders at Niantic Center School.