Last week I had the good fortune to visit another stellar school: Kennebunkport Consolidated School. Author Lyn Smith and I received a warm welcome from first grade teachers and set up in Mrs. Roberts’ room.


There was evidence all over the place that students here are on the ball. I need one of these oversize pencils as a prop, since I’m always talking about keeping our eyes and pencils sharp.


We attended the Friday morning assembly, where I spied this ingenious banner in the hall. The entire school was celebrating the first 100 days of learning.


After the pledge, the school song, announcements, a dance, and watching a Kid President video, we were duly warmed up for hearing Lyn read her book, A Porcupine’s Promenade.


Such good listeners! They wanted to know how the book was made. Lyn told them it is a true story, but she made up the boy, Bailey. I talked about my process and shared my book dummy and sketchbook, and a pile of supplies and nature objects.


Lyn gave everyone a sketchbook, and they began their observational studies.


This artist did three different studies of a sea star.


I like that this artist found great color matches for their drawing, and imagined 6 eggs nestled inside.


Careful noticing going on here.


I noticed this artist wearing deer all over her, while drawing an antler.


And that careful butterfly is now flying up to a tall blooming flower! They picked up on my tales of illustrating with both observation and imagination.


Lyn spotted one student writing observations down.


It was gratifying when Karen Bubar, the principal, took time to share in the discovery.


My heart sang when Caroline gave me her mini pastel masterpieces. Thank you!


Michelle Roberts and Lyn are former colleagues, and remain proud advocates of children’s literacy.


On the ride home, we rode through the Wells Reserve past Laudholm Farm, where Lyn is doing a reading and activity for their Winter Wildlife Day. Like RIGHT NOW! Looking up at these tall trees, I wondered if Priscilla might be napping there.


In the book, this is my final illustration. Do porcupines dream?


Thanks to the Kennebunk Education Foundation for another great encounter with kids, books, and drawing!


  1. I adore this blog! Ohhhh first grade. What a wonderful time to learn. You connect so well with the kids with your natural bits, your conversations with the kids, your observations and your illustrations. What fun!!! Keep doing what you are doing! You ROCK!!!

    • Peg, your enthusiasm is SO appreciated. I do love witnessing the kids and their creativity. THEY rock and I marvel.

    Love this BLOG – Jamie!
    I’ll second Peg’s comment – YOU Rock!

  3. Lyn, couldn’t do it without you!

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