Margie Palatini Visits for a Rousing PK-2 Author’s Day

In the Lower School, the only thing better than teaching students to read is helping them fall in love with reading. One of the many ways we do that is author visits. Students closed out their week with laughter and joy as celebrated picture book author Margie Palatini visited for a pre-K to grade 2 Author Day on Friday, April 14, 2023.

Ms. Palatini performed a rousing reading of her picture book “Sweet Tooth” about a young boy in a running battle with his cantankerous molar. The tooth constantly demands sugary substances and ultimately comes to a bitter end. She also gave students a special sneak peek at a book that is soon to be published called “Kitty Cam” about a kitten wearing a GoPro and what the camera sees. She explained in brief the process by which a picture book comes into existence, and answered questions from our excited and appreciative young readers.

Ms. Palatini is well known for stories like “Bedhead,” “Lousy Rotten Stinkin’ Grapes,” and “Earthquack.” She has always enjoyed storytelling but never deliberately set out to be an author. In fact, it was illustration she enjoyed and, as a child, she made elaborate illustrated tales on rolls of paper towel. She attended Moore College of Art and Design to pursue her artistic interests. After college, as an opportunity to network with authors and hopefully garner some illustration work, she joined a workshop at Rutgers University on picture book authoring. As a requirement of the class, she had to write, and not simply illustrate, and that was the beginning of her authoring career.

She wrote her first picture book entitled, “Piggie Pie” in 1995 and submitted it to numerous publishers to many rejections. She allowed the publishers initially to convince her that she didn’t have what it takes and so the book went into a box for 15 years until she eventually dusted it off to read to her 3-year-old son, Jamie. He loved it.

“That’s why so many of my books are dedicated to Jamie because he was my litmus test. I decided, I’m not going to listen to other people, I’m going to listen to Jamie because that’s who I’m trying to please,” said Ms. Palatini. That first book has now won numerous awards and is her best seller.

We were grateful and privileged to host Ms. Palatini, who not only fanned the flames of reading joy in our youngest students but reinforced the notion that determination and self-belief lead to success in life — although you may require an ample amount of perseverance in the process.