Ruby the Red Worm's Dirty Job Make-A-School Project. Pictured here are the student illustrators standing in the shape of a worm and the message, "We love worms.".
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 in 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

The following is a step by step summary of how the book is made, including: planning, creating, celebrating and making a difference in the world.
The ice cream social and book signing celebration for "Ruby the Red Worm" drew over a 1000 people. It was one of the most overwhelming, amazing and fulfilling moments of my life to see the dreams of so many students coming to life.
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!
Footprint in the sand

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