Monday, June 17, 2013

Michael Dooling Children's Author and Illustrator

Technology is amazing! Every day I find something or someone that I would have never known about if it wasn't for the Web. Last week, I discovered someone who makes history come alive. 

I had been looking for something and started following link after link after link. What it was that I was looking for? I forget!!  How many of us start looking for something and end up forgetting what we were looking for? 

 I remember one time when I was searching for a recipe for a sauce for grilled salmon. Two hours later and zillions of websites viewed, I never found the sauce, but I had found a great band called "The Piano Guys".  Instead of grilling salmon, I made a chef salad and turned on the Piano Guys' videos. 

 Well last week I wasn't looking for a sauce for salmon but once again got lost in space (Web space, that is) and I ended up on a web page that jumped out at me. Imagine an old fashion vehicle pulling a waving banner across the page that says "Michael Dooling Writes Books About People Who Changed the World". Not only a moving banner caught my eye, but it was Mr. Dooling's jacket and hat. It reminded me of the garb the staff at Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts wear. I've always loved historical clothing. 

As I explored his website I became more and more intrigued. An author, artist, teacher and historian all wrapped up in one? Too good to be true?  Apparently not! He's visited over 900 schools around the country. He inspires kids to read and write? He's an artist and illustrates as he tells stories? 

I suddenly had one of those deja vu moments. A "back in time" flashback moment...

When I taught in an elementary school during the Ice Age, <wink> we had Stephen Kellogg come to school to talk with the kids. It's one of the most memorable author visits I can remember. As Mr. Kellogg spoke about his Rosy and Pinkerton books, he began sketching Rosy and Pinkerton and with quick strokes of a black marker, his characters came alive! The kids were so mesmerized, you could hear a pin drop (forgive the cliche but it's true!) When his presentation was over, he had an auction and gave away all the sketches he created. There must have been at least 20 of them. 

Long story short.. Take a look at Michael Dooling's website. Not only is he an author and teacher, but his art work is beautiful. Am I surprised? No.. Take a look...

"He is the illustrator of over sixty books-many on historic subjects. He has illustrated picture books, chapter books and many Middle Grade Novels. His clients over the past twenty years include Reader's Digest, The United States Post Office, Scholastic, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, HarperCollins, Philomel, Puffin Books, McElderry Books, Henry Holt, Holiday House, Beechtree, Atheneum, Disney and many others. Michael graduated in 1988 with a Master's Degree in Illustration from Syracuse University and is a member of the Society of Illustrators in New York."

But what I really like about Michael Dooling is his bio... It made me think of my childhood and what fun we had as kids, exploring, creating, and just being kids. School budgets have been cut drastically but keep in mind "where there's a will, there's a way". The "way" is to contact PTO's to see if they have raised money for author visits..

Have a wonderful summer!

I'll be here and on the Web getting lost as usual. 


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