Vesterheim Museum in Decorah sponsored the New York Times #1 bestseller, writer and illustrator, Jan Brett to stop in Decorah recently. At the museum, they currently have an exhibit called The world of Jan Brett, that will be there until January 5th. If you have kids, or grandkids home for the holidays, or even during the children’s time off from school, this is a must see family exhibit!
I was lucky to meet the talented lady in Decorah recently and on her only stop in Iowa on her current tour. So was everyone else at the packed auditorium at Decorah High School, full of over 700 young fans and fans young-at-heart.
Jan Brett made an impact as she took time to not only sign autographs and get her photo taken with fans, along with “Hedgie,” which is Jan’s favorite friend from The Mitten and the Hat, who was in fact a 6th grader, Anna Britt Lien, in costume. But, most importantly, she took the time to listen to the children who came to see her. Area student, Decklyn Heins, explained that his favorite part about the day was learning how she draws the chickens. His favorite book is Cinders. He was thrilled that he had a chance to talk to her about writing his own books. She asked him what he wrote about and if he did his own illustrations. He told her he's written about football, birds, and his family. He also likes to do his own drawing in the books he creates. He even sets up his own bookstore at home and family buys his stories. Jan encouraged him to keep writing! And with the help of his mother, Brittany Buddenberg Heins, he was able to upload a photo of himself, with his mother and grandmother Pam Buddenberg, to Brett’s Facebook page, where he has a good chance to win a set of Jan Brett books if he gets the most votes in the contest.
Vesterheim in Decorah also is bringing The World of Jan Brett into the classroom for area K-5 teachers to experience, learn about, and share in no-tech to higher-tech ways to engage their students in effective reading strategies, shared art experiences, and activities that cultivate perception and higher-order thinking skills, through the stories and illustrations of Jan Brett. The course is to be taught by Clark Goltz, Lea Lovelace, and Jennifer Kovarik.
Make sure your family takes time this busy holiday season to stop in at the Vesterheim to see the exhibit. It will be there until January 5th! How lucky we are to get to see Jan Brett in person and have her exhibit at the museum. Thank you once again, Vesterheim Museum! If you are going to their Norwegian Christmas weekend or are Luther College parents coming for the weekend, it’s a perfect time to check out all Vesterheim has to offer!
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.