|Author and illustrator, Emma Virjan with the girl who started it all, Ella.|
The HistoryWe owe it all to Rondi Brower from The Bookhouse Albany. She's the one who introduced me to What This Story Needs is a Pig in a Wig last Fall. The rest, as they say, is herstory.
I put Pig on my 2016 Geisel list and a little girl named, Ella, loved the book so much that she gave it a 200 star rating out of 5. Ella and her classmates also wrote letters to the author. Here is Ella's letter:
Yes, we Skyped with Emma Virjan. Not just once, but twice. First in December 2015 and then in June to celebrate the book birthday of Pig Book 3, What This Story Needs is a Munch and a Crunch.
Emma and I kept in touch throughout the year and when it came time to find out the book birthday of Book 4, What This Story Needs is a Bang and a Clang, I asked Emma if she would Skype again. Her response, "How about if I come in person? Oh, unless you would prefer the Skype?" WHAT?! Duh?! Of course, please let us welcome you to Castleton!" And so after months/years of preparation, Emma Virjan came to Castleton YESTERDAY and what an amazing day we had!
7:25 AM Wake Up Call (Technically way earlier than that!)
Breakfast with the Fifth Grade Reading Ambassadors started off Emma's day at Castleton Elementary School. It was a pink, red, Mexican-style "Hush and a Shush" themed breakfast. We had breakfast burritos, "hush puppies" (tater tots) and lots of pink and red foods. The Dewey Section was decorated all nicely and Emma moved around the room freely greeting her fans and taking photos. Fun!
|Emma with Principal Derby|
|Emma with Superintendent Bordick|
Emma presented at three different assemblies (K-1, 2-3 and 4-5). At each one she shared where she gets her ideas, why a "pig in a wig", her likes (grilled cheese) and dislikes (don't feed her coconut--she's allergic) and her writing and illustrating process. It was great! Mrs. Kosinski's first graders performed a song written by our music teacher, Mrs. Gibney. Check out the outfits, wigs and the conductor! Here is the youtube video of the song shot from the classroom the day before:
|Check out her leggings!|
|Happy Book Birthday to What This Story Needs is a Bang and a Clang|
|Aurora wrote a poem for Emma|
|Mrs. Hirschoff's Class poses gets a photo op with Emma|
|Students from Ms. Martin's class present Emma with a book based on "Pig in a Wig"|
Meeting Mrs. Pryde's Alumni
Of course, Mrs. Pryde's former students, Ella and her classmates, had to meet Emma personally. How do we do this now that they are in second grade? With a little maneuvering, we figured it out and they came up to the library for about 20 minutes and chatted with her a bit. They seem so old now!
Ms. Rattner? I can't find my book on the shelf....
Any chance it has a red spine? If so, could it be in part of PIG? Check this out--It took hours to build but just so cool!
12:20 Lunch with Dewey Duty
Finally "payment" for working in the library! Lunch with an author! How cool is that? Super cool and sweet, especially if that author happens to be Emma! She mingled with the crowd. Ate grilled cheese sandwiches (honestly, we had NO idea she loves grilled cheese!), pink anything you can imagine (rice krispy treats, cookies, brownies, candy, chocolate fountain) and birthday cake.
|A Peppermint Pig from Saratoga Sweets|
|Pig Snout Cups|
|On line for the pink chocolate fountain!|
|Dressed for Hush and a Shush|
Sign those books so you can go to the hotel and take a NAP!
Emma probably had to sign at least 125 books. But then I had to send her back to the hotel for she was coming back to school later to present to the adults in my Teacher Center class. I don't know if she took a nap or not. Regardless, she did come back energized and ready for Round 3? Round 4? That's more than I can say about myself (well, until my friend showed up with Starbucks).
For most of the morning, I don't think my feet touched the ground, and that's not because I was leaping more than usual. I really couldn't believe Emma was truly here. For months and months, all Mrs. Pryde would say was "I just want Emma to come. I just want Emma to come," and her wish came true! Unbelieveable. Thank you, Emma!