Children’s author Jan Brett visits Emmaus High School
In partnership with the staff of Emmaus High School’s Collage literary magazine, Let’s Play Books!, 244 Main St., Emmaus, hosted a presentation and book signing by children’s author Jan Brett Nov. 30.
Brett, who considers herself “more illustrator than author,” arrived at EHS in what one news release described as her “rock star bus.”
The stop was part of the first leg of a national tour to promote her latest book, “The Tale of the Tiger Slippers.”
Inspired by the Persian folk tale “Abu Kassem’s Slippers,” the story confronts the question of how to hold on to the past while living in the present. The tiger’s dilemma is presented in a way that will appeal to children and resonate with adults. Brett’s luxurious illustrations bring India to life.
More than 400 parents, grandparents, teachers, children and fans attended the event. After brief introductions by Kirsten Hess of Let’s Play Books! and Collage representatives Hailey Jack and Ivory Gao, Brett began the presentation. She related her experiences in India, where she studied the flora, architecture and fauna that became the focus of the book’s intricate illustrations.
In particular, Brett shared the awe she felt during an encounter with a majestic tiger in Bandhavgarh National Park. The presentation continued with a lesson in illustration.
Brett explained a character’s eyes express his feelings. To drive her point home, she engaged the audience by asking them to determine the emotion she was displaying while using her hands to cover her nose and mouth so that only her eyes were visible.
She then drew a tiger while discussing drawing techniques and materials. Brett encouraged members of the audience, particularly the children, to express themselves creatively.
“When you write a story or draw a picture, you are unique,” Brett said.
The event closed with a book signing. Brett cordially greeted and signed books for all those wishing to meet her.