Happy Birthday Wendell Minor - March 17
On Beyond Words and Pictures he said, "I have spent the last four decades working 12-14 hours a day in the studio - reading, writing, researching, sketching, painting, and designing; sometimes 7 days a week." His career began in 1968 by illustrating book jacket covers. He was quite successful creating over 2,000 covers including Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. It wasn't until 1988 that he illustrated his first children's book, Mojave by Diane Siebert. As I read his books to my children, I appreciated his commitment to making sure his illustrations were historically accurate. In a video from Simon and Schuster about his book Night Flight he said, "My research for Night Flight was extensive. To make it absolutely as accurate as I possibly could, I sent my drawings to experts and pilots to make sure that what I was doing in this book was absolutely as close to historically being correct as possible." (Watch the video below to learn of all the ways he researched the event and the plane -- it is remarkable!).
Look to the Stars by Buzz Aldrin and Sitting Bull Remembers by Ann Turner. As we read each book, I began compiling ideas to include in the Wendell Minor Reading Experience. Once I had an activity idea for each book I arranged them all on a grid which became the first page of the printable packet. I feel the activity grid is like a road map. A child can look at this page and decide where they want to go with their learning. I have included activities that focus on art, acting, drawing, writing, and much more to appeal to a variety of learners. Since I read only a dozen of his books and he has published over forty, I also left space on the grid to add your own activity for a book of your choosing.
My son was attracted to the book, Fire Storm by Jean Craighead George. We read the book and then he decided he wanted to try the activity -- "Design a public service poster that explains the dangers of intentionally set wildfires and the benefits of naturally occurring wildfires." He was so excited about his poster that he took his own photo so that it could be featured on the blog.
|His poster was actually a retelling of the story, but I was impressed.|
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|My boys and I really enjoyed Pumpkin Heads! by Wendell Minor.|
1. Wendell Minor's Website + Explore lots of multimedia
2. Wendell Minor Birthday - Children's Book-A-Day Almanac
3. Text Interviews - Harcourt, On Beyond Words, Wild Rose Reader
4. Bios - Scholastic, Wendell Minor Art, Children's Literature Network, Answers.com, NCCIL
5. Pumpkin Heads! Video - Wendell Minor Art
6. Audio Versions of 7 of Wendell Minor's Books - Wendell Minor Art
7. Mary Higgins Clark and Wendell Minor discuss The Magical Christmas Horse - YouTube
8. Wendell Minor's New Britian Museum of American Art Exhibit - YouTube
9. Wendell Minor remembers Jean Craighead George - Litchfield County Times