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Author/Illustrator Matt Phelan at Saint David's School

Matt Phelan, award-winning author or illustrator of several books for young readers, including Marilyn's Monsters, Flora's Very Windy Day, and the Scott O'Dell Award-winning graphic novel The Storm in the Barn, visited Saint David's last week to discuss the process of writing and illustrating books with boys in first through sixth grades. He gave our boys the inside scoop on the many steps involved in a book's journey from conception to completion.

Mr. Phelan noted that he draws so many more illustrations than appear in the final book, as a way to record his ideas and determine how characters will look or dress.

He also stressed the editing process and the fact that final illustrations are often the result of several iterations, telling the boys, "Every time you draw a picture, it gives you a chance to make your idea better." Boys were surprised to learn that the cover illustration is the last thing he creates, done "at the end of the process, when I really know the book."

The boys listened carefully and asked Mr. Phelan thoughtful questions at the end of his presentation.

From their very early days in Kindergarten at Saint David's, our boys are writers and illustrators of their own picture books, which they read to their fellow classmates.  This wonderful opportunity for them to learn from and interact with a renowned author/illustrator is made possible through our Parents Association Author Series program.



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