Posted Date: 01/10/2019
COPPERAS COVE, TX (January 9, 2019)—Martin Walker Elementary students who dream of becoming the next John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, author of Lord of the Ring, or J. K. Rowling, author of Harry Potter, received an encouraging boost when an award-winning author and illustrator showed them the path to success.
Martin Walker Librarian Teresa Garrett invited Texas author Don Tate to spend a day at the school and said an illustrator visit lets students know that art is a big part of writing books.
“Don Tate was great choice since he has illustrated two Texas Bluebonnet books that many students have read,” Garrett said. “Mr. Tate shared with students that as a child their age, reading was a struggle for him. It is good for students to hear and see that successful adults may have been where they are now and overcame academic difficulties to reach a career goal and to even win awards.”
Fourth grade teacher Kaitlyn McGath found the information to be life-long lessons for both the students and the staff.
“I loved Don Tate’s message of perseverance for our students. It’s important for them to know that success take practice,” McGath said.
Tate told students that a book sometimes requires 30 or more revisions before it is ready for publication.
Third grader Alejandra Figueroa-Gonzalez was very surprised that authors have to rewrite their books over and over.
“It was interesting to know that writing and illustrating a book could take a year or longer,” he said.
Fifth grade teacher Wendy Butler enjoyed the presentation and found Tate’s words inspiring.
“Often times, students who may not have a talent in sports or academics feel differently,” Butler said. “Don Tate showed students that their own personal talents can be used and turned into something they can do the rest of their lives, even if it's not conventional.
“It was great to view the books he has illustrated and written since our topic of study in fifth grade has recently been literary non-fiction and biographies. Most of the books he illustrates and writes happen to be from those genres.”
Students enjoyed the interactive part of Tate’s presentation. He included students by sketching several of them and then asked them to help him create or finish several illustrations.