Monday, December 12, 2011

We ♥ Todd Parr (ages 2 - 8): a fun school visit!

All of Emerson was abuzz last week with excitement for books and reading. Todd Parr, a wonderful author and illustrator, came to visit our students and share about his books. As so many of the kids said, "We love you, Todd." You see, he ends each book with a note that speaks directly to kids, and he signs these notes, "Love, Todd". I truly believe this helps kids connect with Todd as a person, and they return his love adoringly.

Todd Parr is the author of over 30 books. Every one of Parr’s books helps children feel good about themselves and helps families talk about all kinds of things that kids really do care about. Parr illustrates his stories, creating bright, colorful artwork that will bring a smile to your face. Through every book he shares the message that it’s OK to be different and important to believe in yourself.

Todd Parr with my daughter Emily
During his visit, he read several of his stories aloud to the kids, asked for their help drawing silly pictures, and played a great improvisation game with the kids. The students laughed, giggled and begged to participate.

I especially love talking with the kids about how Todd's grandmother read with him when he was a child. He loved reading his favorite books over and over again. Todd talks about how his grandma would ask him what would happen next, and he would create crazy imaginative predictions. She encouraged his creativity and helped him connect to the books they were reading.

In talking with the kids afterward, they especially loved seeing Todd draw right there in front of him. They love noticing things in his artwork. Kids have described his style as simple, but full of details. They like the way it looks like a kid could draw it, but they clearly notice that he takes care and effort.

Todd's books are perfect for preschoolers and young elementary students, but older students read them with joy and smiles on their faces. At Emerson, we had all of our kindergartners, 1st and 2nd graders come to the library to listen to Todd. But, a group of older kids also came along - these 10- and 11-year-olds loved listening to him just as much as their little brothers and sisters!

At Emerson, our favorite Todd Parr books are:
Each is filled with Todd's humor, heart and kindness.  We truly appreciate Todd's taking the time to share a little bit of himself with us.

©2011 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books.


  1. Hi! Thanks for sharing! They look interesting, specially the I'm not Scared book. Best regards from Barcelona, Spain,

  2. How fun! I'd love to meet him! The Earth Book and The Family Book are two of my favorites too! The Daddy Book is also up there in my book and The Friendship Book, which is no longer in print.

    I am enjoying reading your chapter book reviews. My expertise ends begins and ends with picture books. I have found a couple good ideas for chapter books to look for for my kids.