Each chapter of Schmidt's book features one of John James Audubon's bird paintings in each chapter, and he connects the bird to the 11 year old protagonist Doug. John James Audubon (1785 —1851) was a French-American ornithologist, naturalist, and painter. He is known for his detailed illustrations in his "Birds of America" series that depicts all species of American birds in their natural habitats.
The New Bedford Free Public Library owns one of the only complete sets of the double-elephant folios of Audubon's "Birds of America" (there are only 120 in the world.) This was donated to the library in 1866 by James Arnold, a wealthy whaling merchant.
During the program the english and reading portion was led by Doria Bryant English Teacher at Keith Middle School and the Art portion was led by myself. Janice Hodson, curator of Special Collections gave a wonderful tour of the library's original collection during one of the sessions. Also the author Gary Schmidt, a best-selling author and two-time Newbery Medal winner, visited New Bedford last month to discuss his book and lead a writing workshop with the kids at The New Bedford Free Public Library.
This was such an amazing program and the students grew so much from their experience. For me it was particularly special to see them grow as artists during these past 12 weeks. On October 10th 2013 The New Bedford Art Museum will be hosting an exhibition of these students' Art work. This will be a spectacular exhibit giving the students a wonderful feeling of accomplishment and pride. Please save the date and join us during this special event.
I will keep you posted :-)