CLiF would like to introduce or re-introduce you to Ashley Wolff of Leicester, VT. Ashley is the author and/or illustrator of over 65 books, including the beloved Miss Bindergarten series! CLiF created the outline below to help students of all ages think about her art and writing.

Ashley both writes and illustrates her own stories and also illustrates other people’s stories. She even has illustrated the lyrics of favorite songs, such as Baby Beluga, and popular folk tales such as How Chipmunks Got Tiny Feet.

Things to think about:

  • Can a story start from a picture?
  • How do you research pictures?
  • How do the words and the pictures work together?
  • Do you paint the images in the book?
  • Your books are about so many different topics – animals, nature, different landscapes – what inspires you most?
  • Ashley also paints murals – how do you move between something big like a mural to something as small as a book?

Here are a few ways to get to know Ashley’s work better:

  • Miss Bindergarten has a classroom website for kindergarten parents and teachers.
  • Baby Bear learns to count, to experience his environment, and to play hide-and-seek before bed. What games can you play with your kids that are similar to those in the Baby Bear series?
  • You can read her blog to learn more about her work as a muralist, about her inspiration, and favorite places.

CLiF has created literacy activities for students of all ages here. Here are some that would go nicely with Ashley’s work:

For younger kids:

  • Guess the Reader – photograph or draw people hidden by their favorite book
  • Group Short Story – use pictures and words to tell a collaborative story
  • Story Yoga – make animal poses and compare them to illustrations or photographs

For older kids:

  • Book Trailer Posters – use one image and little text to tell the story of your favorite summer reading book
  • Literary Selfies – draw yourself as your favorite character in your favorite book
  • The Picture Show – kids take turns describing their drawings or setting their favorite song lyrics to pictures

For families:

  • Show and Tell – take turns telling why you love the illustrations in a books. Get lots from the library!
  • Themed Family Night – Ashley organized her books into categories. Pick a theme for the night and pick a book to match!

Ashley joined us July 8 to talk about her books and art and to offer some advice and inspiration to young authors and illustrators.

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