Wednesday, April 6, 2022

This is a School blog tour - 4.06.22

If you were writing a love letter about all that a school can be, what would you include?  I imagine learning would be a central part.  Maybe a welcoming community?  How about the people that fill it?  If you're looking for that book, look no further, because AUTHOR John Schu has written it for us!

This Is a School
written by John Schu
illustrated by Veronica Miller Jamison
published by Candlewick Press

This timeless book is an ode to all the things we hope and want our schools to be.  This book invites readers in to a beautiful setting where learners are welcomed, encouraged, and supported.  The illustrations by Veronica Miller Jamison are filled with bright and inviting colors.  

This school community is one we all want to be a part of and belong to.  Mr. Schu has captured the emotions, hopes, and dreams all of us have for our learning communities!

The phrase "we learn" is a repeated phrase in the story, but I love that the word "learn" encompasses more than just facts and information.  It's about learning to be a friend and empathetic person.  It's about the interpersonal skills we gain in conversation with each other at school.  It's about helping each other grow and learn!

Of course, as many of you know, this book is such a special one for so many of us because it's written by our very own, Mr. Schu!  We all know John Schu as a champion of books, authors, illustrators, and creators everywhere.  It's so exciting to see his name on this book and celebrate it with him.  I'm very excited to welcome Mr. Schu and talk more about This Is a School!  Welcome, John!

Hi, Mrs. Knott! Thank you for all you do to help connect readers with stories. I’m grateful for your kind comments about This Is a School.

When did this book first take shape in your mind?

I wrote This Is a School, illustrated by Veronica Miller Jamison, after I wrote This Is a Story, illustrated by Lauren Castillo, even though This Is a Story comes out next year. This Is a Story is an ode to the power and importance of story. This Is a School is my love letter to students, homeroom teachers, school librarians, reading specialists, guidance counselors, custodians, social workers, principals, art teachers, school secretaries, music teachers, coaches, school nurses, volunteers, helpers, and everyone who helps make school a place of connection. The book took shape in 2019 as I reflected on the life-changing experiences I had in schools as a teacher, as a teacher-librarian, as a student, and as the former of Ambassador of School Libraries for Scholastic Book Fairs.

I love the line, "Some people see what we're good at, and that helps us to know it, too."  I bet there has been an influential person for you since you've been on your author journey - either when you were young and just beginning to craft your stories to now.  Tell us about someone who has influenced you and helped you see what you're good at!

Oh, thank you so much for asking this question, Michele! The first name that popped into my mind was Dr. Mary Margaret Reed, my fifth-grade teacher. I write about her in The Creativity Project, edited by Colby Sharp.

This book feels so timeless!  I can see teachers and librarians reading this to children year after year.  As this book goes out into the world, what are your hopes for it?

Thank you for your confidence in the story. It means so much to my heart! I hope it makes people smile. I hope they pore over Veronica’s beautiful and colorful illustrations. I hope they feel seen. I hope it helps facilitate meaningful conversations.

I love so many of the words used to describe a school.  Which word did you really make sure you included and explored in this book?

You’re asking so many amazing questions that I’ve never been asked before! Thank you for opening up this space to me. There are two words I had to include in This is a School: HEAL and LIBRARIANS. I think librarians can help heal hurts through the stories they add to their collections. Through the stories they booktalk. Through the stories they introduce to students’ hearts. In The Gift of Story: Exploring the Affective Side of the Reading Life, I write: Books can be the perfect prescriptions that let us know we’re going to be OK. We give students access to these lifelines and leave room for the magic.

Veronica Miller Jamison's artwork is fantastic and makes your words come to life!  The bright colors just invited you into the school!  And I loved watching the same children learn and explore and grow on each page!  I'm going to take a "Mr. Schu" prompt from your amazing blog and have you respond to "Veronica Miller Jamison's illustrations...."

Yes! Yes! Yes! Veronica’s artwork is fantastic! Her art is magnificent! She brings such energy and love to every page. 

Yay! I get to finish one of your sentences. Thank you! 

Veronica Miller Jamison’s illustrations make my heart smile.

Thanks for stopping by, Mr. Schu!

Thank you, Mrs. Knott! I hope we see each other one day soon!

Have you see the book trailer yet?  Be sure to share it with your young readers!

Candlewick Press has generously offered two copies of This Is a School for giveaway!  Enter by Friday, April 15th for your chance to win (U.S. residents)!

No comments:

Post a Comment