Today we were fortunate enough to host author/illustrator Lita Judge for a visit. Lita is from Peterborough, NH and she’s the author of Pennies for Elephants, one of this year’s Red Clover Award nominees. (Vermont’s kid-choice book award.)
She primarily writes non-fiction, and she spoke to our second and third graders about her path to becoming an artist and writer. Her talk was fascinating! We learned that she draws her inspiration from her childhood experiences growing up in a remote area of Alaska. Her parents were wildlife photographers and her grandparents were scientists who studied birds, so she spent a lot of time in the woods, sketching in her journal, learning the ways of Nature and the methods of scientists. She herself studied geology in college and honed her artistic skills without formal art school, but with numerous trips to the best art museums of Europe to study great works. Her appreciation for family and family stories was obvious, too.
Lita spoke positively to the students about following a dream or passion and about being true to their own stories, about practicing to improve whatever skill they might want to develop, and about the power of imagination.
Her books have won many kids choice awards in various states, and she’s garnered kudos from the International Reading Association. If you’re from New England and you’re looking for an author I highly recommend Lita!