Author’s Day is always enjoyable. Today, at our school, we hosted Brian Lies, author and illustrator of some wonderful books for kids. In addition to showing the students pictures of his studio, thick copies of his revisions, and how he creates his illustrations, Brian also provided some important messages for everyone to consider.
“Picture books are for everyone!” Right off the bat, (no pun intended), I knew this was a man after my own heart. Most of Brian’s picture books are about bats. Bats? Yes, of all things. Brian explained how frost on a window, which his little girl thought looked like a bat playing in the ocean, was the impetus for his first “bat book”.
“Practice makes perfect?” Brian Lies disagrees. He says, “Practice makes better!” We don’t have to strive for perfection…we simply have to strive for improvement. This insightful artist honestly admitted he was terrible at drawing when he was in the early grades. However, he kept at it. All you need to do his pick up one of his picture books to see how far he has come. Yes, the will to create can trump raw talent. All of us would do well to remember that thought.
Brian shared a writer’s secret…”Pay attention to details”. He stressed the importance of revision and of honing in on descriptive details that enable the reader’s mind to take over and fill in the rest. Pick up one of his books, you’ll easily see what I mean.
Today introduced me to an unfamiliar author. I was captivated by his work and so were the students. Brian’s exquisite illustrations bring his creative narrative poems to life. Check out his “bat” books: Bats at the Beach, Bats at the Ballgame, Bats in the Band and Bats in the Library for a unique reading experience that both you and your children will enjoy.