Newbery Medal–winning author Grace Lin presented her seminar, How a Book Is Made, to the first- and second-graders at Mitchell Elementary School. She also read an excerpt of her book The Ugly Vegetables to the kindergarten classes.

Lin provided the students with insight into the steps of how a book is made. She began by showing them her “personal idea book” where she jots down ideas and words, which then become the inspiration for her stories. Through her interactive presentation, she demonstrated the many steps in publishing an illustrated picture book. Lin also read an excerpt from her junior novel Year of the Dog to teach the children about the Chinese zodiac and the traits associated with each year. She ended the program with a “draw-along,” teaching the students how to draw a dragon or a dog.

The engaging program walked the students through the complete process from story ideas to illustrations to the published work, all while infusing insight into Chinese culture. NEF grant writer Patty Deroian said, “Ms. Lin presents a fantastic program combining writing and diversity in a way that really connects with the students.”