Coxsackie Elementary

Today the bad weather stayed away and I was finally able to visit Coxsackie Elementary. I had a strange feeling when I walked in, until I remembered that the building was constructed from the same plans as E. J. Arthur, where I was last week. The library, the cafeteria, and the classrooms are all in exactly the same place. All day long I kept getting this weird feeling of deja vu.

One really cool thing I found when I first walked in was this display by Mr. Martino. It was set up in the front lobby, and featured a computer slideshow of my book illustrations. Very nice. In the library, two rows of students’ drawings from my books lined the entrance, hanging like banners from the ceiling.

Another treat was when I got to meet Ivy, the therapy dog. Ivy is a black Labrador retriever, and she was trained from the time she was born to be a seeing eye dog for the blind. Now she works throughout the community as a therapy dog for children and senior citizens. Her trainer, Jeannie Cardany, is a second grade teacher at Coxsackie, and Ivy has her own corner of the classroom. She even has her own website at

Throughout the day I had the chance to meet some great young readers, authors and illustrators and talk to them about making books. The questions were fantastic, and I wish I could have stayed longer. I always know it’s been a good school visit when I completely lose track of time. It was over before I knew it! Thanks to everyone at Coxsackie for making it so much fun.