Local author and illustrator Liz Heller visited Mrs. Dayton’s 1st grade class at Palmer Elementary, but her biggest lessons weren’t from her book, The Day I Wore Spaghetti to School. Instead, they were from the process of creating the book.
“She shared two sketches that didn't make her book because they were not to her satisfaction. This allowed for the students to see it's okay to not have every page perfect. Our writing is a work in progress. We are always learning,” said Mrs. Dayton.
“I worked backwards to write it. I did the illustrations and wrote the story around it,” said Heller. “It became a project to see how many outfits I could make out of food and I ended up with 20 illustrations.”
Heller’s book is about a girl who wants to be a chef. For Dress-Up Day at school she want to wear something made of food so that people know what she wants to be when she grows up. But, she has problems figuring out what to wear. An ice cream outfit will melt. A PB&J outfit will be too sticky.
“I’m hoping they see how creative you can be. It’s work, but you can have fun. It’s work, but it’s not as hard when you love what you’re doing,” said Heller, a Chenango Valley High School graduate who works at Logowise in Binghamton as a graphic designer.
“She told the students it was really cool because she had a food party where she tasted all her favorite foods to help her get the best descriptive words. This was great because I will reference back to this experience for the students as we talk about using our five senses to add detail in our Writing Workshop,” said Mrs. Dayton.