Author Skype – Mike Artell

Today we had a great Skype session with author and illustrator, Mike Artell. We talked about some of the books he wrote and how he has to do research for them too. For Backyard Bloodsuckers, he spent time at the largest bug museum in the world – The Insectarium in Louisiana.  We listened as he read to us from Petite Rouge in his funny Cajun accent.  The highlight of the day was learning how to draw – cartoon style.  We drew a horse and he gave us some tips on how to personalize your cartoon words.  At the end of the session we asked him a few questions.  We learned that his favorite thing to draw is animals and the hardest thing to draw for him is realistic art.  Please check out our photos and short video clip below called “Fun letters.”  To learn more about Mr. Artell go to

Thanks so much Mr. Artell!!

Skype with author, Mike Artell on PhotoPeach

Fun Letters

Meeting Author, Ed White

Last Tuesday, we had the exciting opportunity to Skype with author and sled dog racer, Ed White.  Mr. White is the author of Foxy’s Tale.  The story is exciting to read as it tells about Ed’s daughter, Kelly, and her time racing their dog, Foxy.  What makes it especially cute is that the story is told by Foxy.  Mr. White shared video and photos of Kelly and Foxy during the Skype.  We found out that Foxy got her name because they thought she looked like a fox.

Kelly & Foxy's ribbons

Mr. White and Family

The children had fun asking questions about Foxy, sled dog racing and becoming a writer. Mr. White is originally from our area and attended a local Catholic school (Holy Trinity) as a child and use to serve Mass at our church.  He now lives in State College, PA.  He may stop by for an in person visit later this month when he will be in town for a high school reunion.  You can learn more about Mr. White and his book by visiting his website
Glitter Words
[ – *Glitter Words*]

My students and I were thrilled when Mr. White stopped by for a quick visit last Friday! He answered a few more questions, gave us Foxy’s Tale magnets, and posed for photos.

With the boys

With the girls

Skype with author Paul Owen Lewis

Lewis 002Lewis 003Today we had the wonderful opportunity to do a free Skype with Paul Owen Lewis, author of Storm Boy. When asked when and why he started writing, Mr. Lewis told us that was inspired by another author who spoke to him when he was 27 years old. The author told Mr. Lewis to write stories for himself about things that mattered to him. Since Mr. Lewis lives on the San Juan Islands of Washington state, he likes to write about the killer whales that sees right outside of his window everyday. Storm Boy is a story about killer whales that come to life and speak to a little boy. It is adapted from a Nortwest coastal story. He also shared that a dream inspired him to write his first story about killer whales, Davy’s Dream. Mr. Lewis said that he often starts a story out by drawing it first. It might start with just one scene and he later adds the beginning and ending to it. It was neat to see the totem pole from Storm Boy in the room behind him as he talked to us. Thanks Mr. Lewis!