Thanks to funding from a BEF spring 2019 grant, multiple award-winning children’s author and illustrator, Jerry Pinkney visited with first and second grade students at Maryland, Cassingham and Montrose Elementary Schools on October 28. Mr. Pinkey’s school visit was arranged by Leisan Smith, Director of Student and Community Engagement for the School District and held in conjunction with the Bexley Public Library’s Bexley Community Author Series, Family Edition. Pinkney, who grew up in Philadelphia and began drawing at the age of four, told students that he faced many learning challenges in elementary school because of his dyslexia. However, he kept doing what he loved most, drawing, and that helped him gain in self-esteem and got the attention of his teachers and classmates. He later was awarded a full scholarship to the Philadelphia Museum College of Art, (now University of the Arts).
Pinkney is the winner of the 2010 Caldecott Medal for his acclaimed children’s picture book The Lion and the Mouse (2009), is the recipient of five Caldecott Honor Medals, five Coretta Scott King Book Awards, four Coretta Scott King Honor Awards and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award. Many of Pinkney’s children’s books celebrate multicultural and African-American themes.
In his presentation to Bexley students, Pinkney showed slides of the work spaces in his studio, answered students’ questions and drew the mascot of each school. He signed the drawings and then presented them as gifts to the elementary schools.