A familiar face greeted Ledyard Center School students and staff on Tuesday.
Teachers and fifth and sixth graders remember when children’s book author and illustrator David Biedrzycki visited five years ago.
“When Biedrzycki first visited in 2007, he had an idea for a book about a kid who had a dragon for a pet. He told the students about it and asked them to help him brainstorm," said Ledyard Center School Librarian Kathleen Smith. "As he was working on it, he sent us various drafts."
Smith said the author used some of the ideas that were generated during that visit and to show his appreciation, he dedicated it (“Me and My Dragon” published in 2009) to the students.
Mrs. Pelletier shared these drafts with her sixth grade class who were studying editing and revising.
On his four-day return visit, Biedrzycki explained to students his idea for a book titled “Breaking News Live”, a story about escaped bears from the zoo.
The storyboard features a photo of Smith as a diner who gets scared when she sees the bears.
Other ideas he told students about include a baby robot named “babybot”, a superhero named “authorman”, and two starfish that fall in love and started a family.
During his presentation to fifth graders, he told students about his writing and illustrating process.
“When I used paints and brushes, I had five bags of trash,” he said, adding that he still prefers to draw by hand when going to the beach on summer weekends.
He always keeps a journal handy because “you never know when you will get an inspiration for a story”.
Biedrzycki started his career in advertising drawing the apples on the Motts Applesauce label and he has drawn the lifesavers on the Lifesaver Popsicle box as well as the Hood Cow on the Hood milk container.
For individual classes’ grades 2 thru 6, he discussed the editing and revising process and the importance of adding details to a story.
Smith said Biedrzycki’s visit was highly anticipated.
“The response has been overwhelmingly positive,” Smith said, adding that he has “a way of inspiring all students to create.”
Former Ledyard Center School students who now attend high school came back so they could see him.
Biedrzycki lives in Medfield, Mass., 16 miles outside Boston, and has also written several other books including “Santa’s New Jet”, “Santa Retires”, and the “Ace Lacewing Series”.
He has illustrated over 12 books, mostly written by Jerry Pallotta, which include “The Beetle Alphabet Book”, “Icky Bug Colors”, and “Who Will Help Santa This Year?”