It’s happened!! The Jan Brett bus came to our community!!
We love a good book, and Jan Brett has written and illustrated some of our favorite children’s books. Her tour recently brought her to our community, and we were thrilled to attend.
From balcony seats the littles were captivated by Ms. Brett’s overview of her latest book The Animals’ Santa. They followed along, in their own new copy of the book, as she explained her inspiration for the story and the details of her illustrations. As she spoke of various characters, including the snowshoe hare, the littles whispered in excitement. They reminded me of our recent zoology science study about the hares being the primary prey of the Canada Lynx.
The littles watched intently as Ms. Brett demonstrated how to draw a snowshoe hare. She offered advice and encouragement to the young and creative in the audience. We were all amazed and inspired to see simple circles and lines turn into a lovely hare.
While waiting in the book signing line, Magoo was amused to meet Hedgie the hedgehog.
Meeting Ms. Brett was relatively brief, but delightful. Not only did she sign our book, but engaged the littles. She encouraged them to draw and encouraged them in their studies. She offered online search suggestions to research another character from her book, the snowy owl.
Today we took the time to fully read and appreciate the illustrations of The Animals’ Santa. The children were delighted to find hidden pictures of Hedgie in the winter drawings, and commented on how Ms. Brett included musical instruments. They decided it must be because her husband plays in a symphony. They seemed to enjoy knowing that new bit of information about a favorite author. As music lovers themselves, they considered the sounds each instrument might make.
The story itself told of how a snowshoe hare attempted to convince his younger brother that the animals’ santa would deliver gifts. Other creatures in the forest confirmed the story, and yet the younger snowshoe hare refused to believe. *Spoiler Alert* In the end, the young hare actually saw the animals’ santa and believed.
As the children listened intently to the story, and carefully studied the illustrations, they commented on how the animals in the story were a mix of both predator and prey. They enjoyed the animals’ discussion of who could possibly be santa and found their theories worthy of giggles.
When we discussed little snowshoe hares disbelief in an animals’ santa, one son commented, “well, sometimes people have to see things to believe….kind of like faith….” The other son commented, “I think he was afraid to hope. You know, in case it wasn’t real. He didn’t want to be disappointed.”
No further spoiler alert here. Visit your local library, or pick up a copy at your favorite bookstore, and read for yourself! If you want more information about Jan Brett and her beautiful illustrations, she offers fun and educational resources on her website. We especially enjoy her printable bookmarks.
If Jan Brett’s bus finds it’s way to your community, make a point to attend her visit. She is as engaging as her books. Our children were encouraged to dream, draw, and create.