Monkey Ono at O’Brien Elementary

I had a wonderful author visit at the O’Brien Elementary School. This was my first full Monkey Ono visit, with a large group power point presentation and art projects. It went really well.


The presentation was about picture book story structure. Monkey Ono is a good read for younger kids, so I wanted to make sure the presentation had something of value for the older kids as well. I talk about character, goals, and obstacles in stories. And I also ask lots of questions like What’s Cinderella’s goal? What are the obstacles in The Lorax? I try keep the kids engaged. Then when I finally get to Monkey Ono, they can either sit back and listen, or they can be analyze the story structure as I read. (I even use one of Magoo’s stories, No Gas, to show how a first grader can write using story structure.)

I took the kids through the Monkey Ono collage project and they did a fabulous job. I decided to have the kids draw Monkey Ono’s hair instead of cut it out of paper – and that turned out to be super fun. Look at all the hair-do’s!


I also had a Kindergarten group that didn’t see the big presentation, so I read to them first, then I taught them how to draw Monkey Ono. So cute!



Big Thanks to the fabulous art teacher, Brandyn Barstis, who wrote a grant to have me and other artists into her school. And thanks to the wonderful students at O’Brien Elementary for sharing your art and enthusiasm with me!


Monkey Ono at Central School


Yesterday I had a lovely visit with the first graders of Central School in Simsbury. And it was a special visit for me, because it was the very first time I did Monkey Ono collages with kids.


I can’t even tell you how many ninja projects I have done over the last four years – hundreds – I have got that down. But Monkey Ono is a little trickier than Wink because Monkey Ono has more components. And more placement. Some pieces have to be glued on top. Some pieces have to be glued on bottom. I had no doubt a fifth grader could handle it – but first graders? Well, I was a little nervous.

But they did GREAT!

If you want to see more, check out my blog.

And BIG THANKS to Central School for giving me a warm welcome and sharing your enthusiasm for my new book!  I had a great time!