This feature was first published in Journeys Summer 2019.
This article was written by communications specialist Didi Hari Krishnan.
There is no better way to celebrate the annual Festival of Reading in elementary school than to provide our students with an opportunity to meet renowned author and illustrator, Sophie Blackall! Blackall won the 2016 Randolph Caldecott Medal for Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Famous Bear. Just a week after she visited Singapore American School in January this year, Blackall won her second Randolph Caldecott Medal for Hello Lighthouse!
Like many illustrators, Sophie Blackall had to persevere. She sent
her work to many publishers and then she waited, and waited, and waited. It paid off! She received an email shortlisting her as one of three illustrators for a book called Ruby’s Wish. She joked that it was almost like a bake-off! Blackall sent in her illustrations and soon after got the job! Her eyes glimmered when she said, “I loved the story (Ruby’s Wish). I had goosebumps when I read it!”
Blackall gushed about SAS libraries and the great selection of books—almost 90,000—made available to our students here at SAS. “The students here are in a kind and enriching environment and you see it through the interactions between the students and teachers.” After spending almost two weeks with our young, aspiring writers and illustrators, the best advice she could give is, “Read, and read, and read, and read! Look at pictures that you like and try to figure out how they were made. Trace them over and over again just to figure out how they were built.”
The signature academic visitors-in-residence program, funded by SAS PTA and the SAS Foundation, brings renowned authors, illustrators, artists, actors, and music professionals to campus to work with students. Authors and illustrators like Debbi Michiko Florence, Jeanette Canyon, Eliot Schrefer, and many more have worked in-residence with children from early learning center to eighth grade, in art rooms, and in classrooms helping them to explore the art of storytelling and illustration.
- Sophie Blackall
- elementary school
- visiting author
- visitors in residence