Students at Rejoice Christian Elementary School had not met Christian Robinson prior to Thursday morning, Nov. 14. But they were very familiar with his work.
Robinson, an award-winning illustrator and animator of children’s books, spoke at the school as the guest for Tulsa City-County Library’s 2019 Books To Treasure program.
Second-grade students at Rejoice were given a copy of “Gaston” by Kelly DiPucchio, which Robinson illustrated. The 2014 book is the story of a French bulldog who is born into a family of French poodles and how he tries to find his true family.
Librarian Cheryl Golightly said having Robinson at RCS was “an answer to prayer.”
Robinson’s collaborations include the best-selling “Last Stop on Market Street,” written by Matt de la Peña, which earned a Caldecott Honor, the Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award. “Leo: A Ghost Story,” illustrated by Robinson and written by Mac Barnett, was named a 2015 New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book of the Year.
Robinson wrote and illustrated “Another,” a wordless book recently named a 2019 New York Times/New York Public Library. Based in Sacramento, California, Robinson is also an animator and has worked with the Sesame Street Workshop and Pixar Animation Studios.
Robinson gave students an overview of the process he goes through in creating his illustrations. He also took questions from the students and staff. Robinson even brought a couple of students up on stage to face off against principal Rita Woolf in a friendly rhyming game.