Past Author Visits at ASIJ 1996 - 2000

2000 Ruth Heller
With every author visit we hope for a window into the creative process.
Author/illustrator Ruth Heller brought us a kaleidoscope. Her dazzling
slides and wonderful descriptions opened our eyes to color in a whole
new way. ASIJ students are putting their markers, colored pencils and
imaginations to use creating an explosion of artwork.
1999 Jack Prelutsky

Giggles, hoots, guffaws, snorts and belly laughs greeted our Poetry Month guest as he
introduced ASIJ students K-6 to poetry appreciation Prelutsky style. Whether it was a
rousing chorus of "Rats for Lunch" or a sing-along to "Pizza the Size of the Sun,"
this prolific poet engaged students in experiencing the joy of verse.

1998 David A. Adler
David Adler's February '98 visit to Tokyo has turned us into "spies". After learning how Mr. Adler
gets his ideas by observing people around him and "eavesdropping" whole classes of ASIJ elementary
students have started sleuthing. We may not be detectives on a par with Cam Jansen and Houdini
Foster but we're tracking down characters ideas and story inspirations with the best of them.

1997 Eric A. Kimmel

Our guest in 1997 was storyteller/author Eric A. Kimmel. This was a long awaited visit. In 1993, A class of ASIJ second graders wrote to Dr. Kimmel after studying several of his books. In his reply, Dr. Kimmel mentioned that he had always wanted to visit Japan. In 1995, we extended an invitation only to learn that this busy author was not available until 1997! By the time the Kimmels arrived in Tokyo, those second graders had become fifth graders who now know that good things come to those who wait.

During his visit, Dr. Kimmel regaled each grade level with tales upon which his books are based. We heard how stories grow and change with each new teller and telling. A lasting impression is of laughter and the joy of storytelling.

Favorite Eric Kimmel Books

•Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins

•The Valiant Red Rooster

•The Greatest of All

1997 Gordon Korman
This was a great visit!  Mr. Korman was very generous with his time and inspired a lot of middle school students by sharing his writing process.
1996 Loreen Leedy

A highlight of author/illustrator Loreen Leedy's visit was watching Ms. Leedy create characters from ideas generated by ASIJ students. Each grade worked with Ms. Leedy using the writing process as she uses it to create characters for her books. While students brainstormed traits and descriptions of a character, Ms. Leedy sketched their collaborative creation on an overhead projector. Those drawings have become treasured souvenirs of a memorable author visit.

Favorite Loreen Leedy Books

•Postcards from Pluto

•How Human Beings Make Friends

•Messages in the Mailbox

1995 Keith Baker

On his 1995 trip to Japan to attend the Kobe Young Authors Conference, author/illustrator Keith Baker honored us with a visit to ASIJ. Seeing his fabulous illustrations ten feet tall on the screen of the Ricketson Theatre drew "ohh's" and "ahh's" from every grade. However, the true legacy of Keith Baker's visit is that ASIJ students know the "secrets" hidden in his drawings.

Favorite Keith Baker Books

•The Magic Fan

•Hide and Snake

•Who is the Beast?

ASIJ 95th Anniversary Author Visit - Lois Lowry

In honor of the 95th Anniversary of The American School in Japan, Newbery Award winning author Lois Lowry visited our campus in November 1997. Ms. Lowry, a two-time winner of the coveted Newbery Medal, attended ASIJ when she was an eighth grade student. Her visit was one of the highlights of the celebration marking our 95th year.

Elementary students especially remember Ms. Lowry's anecdotes about characters she's created from people she knows. And who could forget her description of her first day at ASIJ when her short haircut caused a classmate to remark "is it a boy or a girl?" as she was introduced to the class.