Susan Stockdale, non-fiction children’s book author and illustrator, visited Tree of Life Christian Preparatory School this month. In keeping with the school’s theme of “Celebrating Nature Through Literacy,” Stockdale shared her research and creative process for books like Spectacular Spots and Stripes of All Types , which teaches children about animals’ characteristics, habitats and behavior.
“It’s very important to me that the information in these books are completely accurate,” explains Stockdale. “I often corroborate with researchers at the Smithsonian and biologists to ensure that my paintings – down to the number of stripes on a fish or the plant an insect may be on – are accurate. I have had to repaint and rewrite many pages in my books to ensure its accuracy, but this process is about educating and teaching children the truth.”
Many of Stockdale’s books come with a classroom curriculum plan and her programs fully support the STEM, STEAM and Common Core curriculum and integrate science, math, geography, language and visual arts.
Students from both TLC Prep and Tappahannock Junior Academy (Tappahannock, Va.), sat enthralled as Stockdale shared her process for creating each of her books. “It was very inspiring to see her attention to detail and to see how passionate about her work,” says Janet Armstrong, TLC Prep’s head teacher. “She not only inspired our students, but the parents and volunteers that came to hear her as well.”
In the afternoon, students put Stockdale’s methods to the test by doing research in order to create their own non-fiction animal book.” You could see the impact Ms. Stockdale had made on the children as they worked on researching their books,” comments Armstrong. “When they weren’t in the writing workshop, they were involved in art activities that were also themed around animals. They were so excited to work on these projects and to see what their friends were working on.”
TLC Prep is a a K-8th grade school, located off Plank Road, committed to providing quality education with a spiritual emphasis, rooted in Christina morals and beliefs. To learn more about TLC Prep go to tlcprep.org.