It’s a treat to visit schools where literacy is celebrated. But it’s downright spectacular when it’s the island school down the street, where your own child learned to read.


The Peaks Island Elementary School invited Scott Nash, Anne Sibley O’Brien, and me to meet teachers and students who read our books and created book reviews, skits, and reports.

Teacher Leader Renee Bourgoine-Serio opened the evening with questions from kids. Mainly they wanted to know: WHEN is Scott coming out with a sequel to The High Skies Adventures of Blue Jay the Pirate?

And then the Draw Off began!

photo by Nancy Gibson-Nash

photo by Nancy Gibson-Nash

Requests from kids dictated our drawing mission, such as: draw a koala dragon riding a pug. In 90 seconds! GO!

Here is Scott’s:


Here is Annie’s response to : a flying hamburger eating a hamburger!


Scott, Annie, and I got into a huddle to pick a prompt for kids to guess WHAT we were each drawing. Can you? Here is Scott’s:


Here is mine:


Each request became more absurd. How about drawing a dog without looking at the paper? Here’s my blind drawing:


The next day, island teachers Kelly Mascolo, Charlie Marenghi, and Zoe Ryan-Humphrey showcased the real stars: their students displaying super literacy powers!


Here is Talullah reading her review of Martian Rock.


Other aliens acted out scenes from the book in resourceful costumes.

Scott is proud of the only scene in picture book history of brain surgery: from Tuff Fluff: The Case of Duckie’s Missing Brain.


I was thrilled that kids did scenes from Island Birthday and Seven Days of Daisy.

What DO seagulls talk about? Bagels, of course. Gotta love these flapping seagulls!


All the actors took a bow.


Next the book reports received an enthusiastic audience, especially from Annie, who pointed out her daughter posed for both the child and adult in this book.

I loved the comic panels drawn for this report on Cows Going Past.


Older students created diary entries in the voice of a book’s character. What a fun collage!


The enthusiasm of our island students is beyond measure. I’m grateful for this community and their sharp learners, who bring more inspiration than they could ever know. Thank you, Peaks Island School! And to Willow, for her cool hairstyle.



  1. An event so nicely told and photographed. Thanks Jamie!

    • Steve, thanks for reading and commenting. Always a treat to see your grandchildren!

  2. Such a special night!

  3. This is very interesting,, they did wonderfully well’

  4. T’was a real pleasure to be in the audience and we thank all three of you for a marvelous time !

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