My daughter was extremely lucky to have landed a wonderful teacher - perhaps the best at her school - for her pre-K year. Ms. M embodied the philosophy of inquiry–– she literally turned every experience into a 'teachable moment'. Ms. M knew how to find what was unique in each child and she went above and beyond in nurturing their strengths.
Ms. M was also able to cull the talents of various parents. For example, she asked an architect mom to design 'blue prints' with the students, she arranged a marine biologist parent teach the class about sharks, and she had a journalist father make a newspaper with the children.
When she found out about my book, B is for BROOKLYN, Ms. M suggested we collaborate on a pre-K alphabet book. Since every day she took the kids out of the class (rain or shine!) on neighborhood 'journey's', we decided to call the book, "J is for JOURNEY". I worked together with the kids to illustrate the "J" cover, all of the letters, and various things they learned about and places they journeyed to.
The final book is a combination of collage, photographs, children's art and typography. The kids did most of the work, I just put it all together. It was so much fun–– it made me feel like I was experiencing pre-K all over again!
And perhaps most importantly, it reminded me why I love writing and illustrating children's books. It's a journey that I am happy to continue throughout my adult life.