Saturday, January 25, 2014

Tweets, Skype, and Pink Icing

"Always be yourself.  Unless you can be a vampire unicorn.  Then always be a vampire unicorn." - Drew Daywalt

This quote hangs on our classroom wall.  It's very popular in our third grade room, mostly because it came from Drew Daywalt, author of The Day the Crayons Quit.  (And also because vampire unicorns are the best.)

We love not only this picture book, but Mr. Daywalt himself.

Maybe love isn't the best word.

Adore would be more like it.

A few months ago, we reached out to Mr. Daywalt via Twitter because his book was having a huge impact on our Writing Workshop.  So many students were inspired by the format and the hilarious personification.  You can read about that experience here

We recently were able to Skype with Mr. Daywalt on a very cold Thursday afternoon.  (And yes, we know it was 60 degrees in L.A. that day.  Thanks for sharing, Mr. Daywalt.) We were crazy excited and nervous.  After all, THIS was the author of one of our favorite books...and authors are rock stars!

Well.  Not only did Mr. Daywalt show us the actual box of crayons that inspired his book, but he also showed us each individual crayon from the box while discussing their personalities!  My students were in awe.  I was too.

He later answered our questions and encouraged us to keep writing and illustrating - but not necessarily to stay inside the lines.  We learned that pink is his favorite color.  It was perfect, as we are talking so much about stereotyping lately.  

Our Skype session motivated my students' writing and reading lives.  Definitely.

But more than that, talking with an author they love pushed their thinking even beyond their literate worlds.  Drew Daywalt likes pink?  He colors outside the lines?  He reads The Twits?  I could teach my students that it's ok to be different, but hearing it from a rock star makes it true.

The next day was my student Ivy's birthday and she brought in cupcakes to celebrate.  Unfortunately, there were only 12 Star Wars cupcakes. The rest were Elmo or Princess cupcakes with pink or green icing.  

"Mr. Daywalt's favorite color is pink," one boy said as he ate the pink icing.  "Yeah, it doesn't matter what color it is," said another.

Vampire unicorns forever.

1 comment:

  1. I'm a college friend of Drew's and you pegged him perfectly - he's a fun, generous, creative guy. He was then and he is now. I have a 5-year-old and we love his book too!