The Make-A-Book Project and author-in-residence program school photographs. Pictured here are all four of the aerial-view school photos. Kids standing in the shape of a bicycle, worm, butterfly and cupcake.
Sorting the illustrations
Sorting the illustrations. I can get over 1000 drawings.

Choosing drawings for the new book

After working with the elementary students for 6 days, I got approximately 1000 drawings to choose from. So, being more of the right-brained-artistic type, it is a major organizational challenge — I’ve never used so many folders, stickies, paper clips, dividers and color markers.

Here you see that I have laid the book out on the floor with my tentative favorites in place. Also pictured are dozens of folders. First I organize the pictures alphabetically by grade and teacher, since some kids will draw 10 pictures. As I progress, choosing pictures becomes harder, and I need to be more creative, such as combining two student drawings into one. I will also reorganize the piles by page number or subject matter. And constantly I am subdividing the pictures into favorites, seconds (maybes), thirds (probably-nots), miscellaneous, unknown and more…

It seems every time I look, I see the pictures in a new way, and am impressed by the creativity and humor of the young students.

Update: Ms. Nagan, the art teacher, gathered some of her best illustrators for the STEM school’s application hour, to help me fill the missing pages. The book is looking fantastic thanks to the student’s overwhelming enthusiasm — and I mean overwhelming.

I also scouted the rooftop for the class photo. It took less than 5 seconds for the kids to scream: “Scott Stoll is on the roof.” I think elementary students are a lot like prairie dogs.

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More stories about the making of this book

Ruby the Red Worms Dirty Job book cover title screen

Cover Design Challenges

The new book, Ruby the Red Worm, is finally here! Perhaps no one is more surprised how beautiful it is then me, especially the cover!

Sorting the illustrations

Choosing drawings for the new book

After working with the elementary students for 6 days, I got approximately 1000 drawings to choose from. So, being more of the right-brained-artistic type, it is a major organizational challenge.

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Worms eat my garbage

Your adventure, should you choose to accept it, is to build your own compost bin at home. This is a great way to recycle your scraps and reduce your eco-footprint.

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