Illustrator & Author
Kenard Pak, an award winning illustrator, is well known for his expressive artwork, which often features the wonders of the natural world. Pak has worked in animation for over twenty years, including many animated films with Dreamworks, Walt Disney Feature, PDI, and Laika. He has also worked in publishing for seven years, illustrating and authoring his own books, including the seasonal Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn series, while also illustrating books for many other authors. Learn more about Mr. Pak at his website here.
Kenard will take part in LS, MS and US art workshops on Tuesday, April 13, as well as a second US workshop on Wednesday, April 14. He will also participate in LS assemblies on April 14, one for grades PreK-Grade 1 and another for Grades 2-4, as well as an 'unpacking' of the Have You Heard the Nesting Bird? with the First Grade, who have studied the book in collaborative music and science units. Pak's session and demo with Upper School students on the morning of April 13 will also be open to PDS parents.
Juan Felipe Herrera
Poet & Author
Juan Felipe Herrera is known as a poet and was recognized as Poet Laureate of the United States in 2015, but his art extends well beyond the realm of poetry. His work, which includes video, photography, theater, poetry, prose and performance, has positioned Herrera as a leading voice on the Mexican American and indigenous experience.
In a profile of Herrera in The New York Times, Stephen Burt wrote: "Many poets since the 1960s have dreamed of a new hybrid art, part oral, part written, part English, part something else: an art grounded in ethnic identity, fueled by collective pride, yet irreducibly individual too. Many poets have tried to create such an art: Herrera is one of the first to succeed." Learn more about Mr. Herrera here.
Herrera will conduct guest lectures for Tenth Grade English and history classes, host a poetry workshop with the Seventh Grade on April 15 and visit with students in the Eleventh Grade "Words and Music" elective on April 16. He will also hold poetry readings with the entire Middle School on April 15 and the entire Upper School during their gathering on April 16.
PDS Fourth Grade students have previously studied Herrera's work, "Jabberwalking", and they have worked on using the titular method as a way of gathering ideas in their writer’s notebooks. Herrera’s use of onomatopoeia, Spanish, slang, idiomatic Spanglish and original/invented words has been highlighted in their studies and will surely be a topic of discussion as he takes part in two Lower School assemblies on the morning of April 15, with PreK-First Grade, and the afternoon of April 16 with Grades 2-4.
Mitali Perkins has written many books for young readers, including You Bring the Distant Near (nominated for a National Book Award) and Rickshaw Girl (adapted into a film by Sleeperwave Productions). Mitali’s wondrous stories feature characters crossing all kinds of borders, seeking community and promoting justice. To paraphrase Mitali, her goal is to make readers laugh or cry, preferably both, as long as their hearts are widening. Learn more about Ms. Perkins here.
Perkins will meet with the Eighth Grade for a book discussion of her work, You Bring the Distant Near, and the Ninth Grade Global Literature class on April 20. On April 21, she will also visit Tenth Grade English and history classes in the morning and the Eleventh Grade in the afternoon for a lecture titled, "Planting a Seed for a Personal Narrative."
She will also host Middle School Book Club with the Fifth Grade on April 20 and take part in two LS assemblies on April 21, first with Grades PreK-1, followed by Grades 2-4. The Third and Fourth Grade have prepared for her visit by reading aloud Perkins' book Tigerboy in the classroom.
Zoom access information for the parent event on April 13 at 9:15am with Kenard Pak is available in the 4/2 and 4/9 divisional newsletter emails or on the Parent Portal here.