Best selling children’s author Victoria Kann paida visit to Light Farms Elementary on Friday, May 5. Students in pre-K, kindergarten and first grade were given the opportunity to hear the author speak as well as to have a copy of one of her books signed. Students and teachers dressed for the occasion by wearing tutus and other pink clothing in reference to Kann’s first and best-known book “Pinkalicious.”
“Author visits, to me, are one of the coolest things that I get to do,” Light Farms Library Media Specialist Terri Harkey said. “Because it inspires the kids and helps them realize that they can become writers too. Because when they see these authors they realize that they are just people. This is our fourth author visit this year. This is the one that the little guys are the most excited about because they know her books.”
Victoria Kann has written more than 50 books. Kann’s visit followed the release of her newest book, “Peterrific,” the first written about Pinkalicious’s brother. Light Farms sold around 150 books to students hoping to get their copies signed. The event was interactive for students as many of them came to school dressed in pink from head to toe, clutching their books in eager anticipation.
“We promote reading in any way we can,” Harkey said. “We’re going to have a book swap at the end of the year so that they can bring in books that they don’t want anymore and other kids can come in and swap them out for somebody else’s. I really feel like our kids here really love reading. You will see kids walking across the crosswalk in the afternoon with a book in their hands. It makes my heart sing.”
Light Farms has played host to four authors this year. The first, Bridget Heos, wrote a two-by-two book that helped to kick off the kindergarten and first grade reading challenge. Next, Chris Barton wrote a Bluebonnet book, which is a third through fifth grade book. Barton’s books feature biographies of diverse people. Third, Lauren Myracle was promoting her series, the first of which is titled “Wishing Day.” Myracle spoke to the fifth graders during her visit.
“All of my stories are based on my daughters,” Kann said. “Every story was inspired by them. “Silverlicious” was actually inspired by when my younger daughter came to me and said, ‘Mommy, mommy, my sweet tooth came out. Can you get me something sweet to eat?’ I wanted to send the message that sweetness comes from the inside, not the outside. “Purpleicious” sent the message of having courage, because my younger daughter was getting made fun of at school for liking the color pink. So I wanted to tell her to have courage and stand up for what she believes in. I’m always thinking about kids, whether it’s from my daughters or kids that I meet. When I go to school signings, I get new ideas from the kids at the schools. It’s a lot of fun.”
Victoria Kann went on to explain where her inspiration for the illustrations originates.
“I went to college to be an illustrator,” she said. “I did editorial illustration for many years. I started with hand-collage, gluing things on paper. Then I went to working on the computer. I love working in Photoshop because I can combine my love of collaging and photography and using found objects to incorporate into my work. I also love to hid things in my artwork to amuse myself. If you aren’t having fun then there’s no point.”
Kann spoke to a tightly packed cafeteria filled with excited students, parents, and teachers. She explained why she became an author and how it was possible for the students to do it too. Kann’s message to the students of Light Farms Elementary encouraged them not only to read, but also to dream.