This week, SMASH artist Kyle Bolton paid a visit to the 4th and 5th grade classes at Broadview-Thomson K-8 School in Seattle as part of a terrific program called WITS (Writers In The Schools).
Kyle showed panels from our book, Smash: Trial by Fire, reading the dialogue and acting out the different characters, and then took a flurry of fantastic questions from the eager students.
Erin Langner, the Program Associate for WITS, wrote about it in a blog post:
All eyes were on the author as he animated the story of a ten-year-old boy who finds himself bestowed with superhero powers using a thorough assortment of voices and sounds to match each action. Building up to a critical moment of realization, the entire library gasped when Kyle unveiled the final, "To be continued..." slide of his reading; the cliffhanger was severe, despite only hearing a small part of a story the Boltons have planned to fill five books.
The kids sitting around the lingering "To be continued..." slide did not see this as an end but as an opportunity. Their imaginations ignited, when Kyle invited questions, every third hand raised brought ideas for the next four Smash books. Methods for defeating villains, suggestions for co-conspirators, new narrative twists and potential wardrobe ideas were floated for consideration. While it is hard to know which directions the authors might find best suited for the next iterations of Smash, it was clear that no outside distractions were too much for this room full of story tellers, who found new suggestions to share through the end of the hour—ideas that I hope to run into again someday, when these creative students put their pencils to the paper and let the inspiration flow.
Huge thanks to WITS and the teachers and students at Broadview-Thomson K-8 School for a great time!
If you would like to have the Bolton brothers speak to your classroom, please email us here. You can also find Kyle or Chris via the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators website.