A Visit with Matthew Baek

pandaOn Saturday, October 10, we were lucky enough to host a reading/signing by  Matthew Baek.  He brought his lovely wife and two sweet little girls along as he entertained our storytime crowd with a reading of Panda & Polar Bear.  He then did some drawings as we watched, and talked about the process he went through to come up with his final panda and polar bear cubs.

Matthew came to the U.S. from Korea at age 9, one of only a few Asian kids in his Gaithersburg, Maryland elementary school.  His 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Armstrong, at first let him express himself solely through his drawing, but gradually encouraged him first to add a few words to each drawing, and finally to write and illustrate a book.  She had each child in the class work with Matthew, and by the time the book was finished, he was friendly with every child in the class.  Mrs. Armstrong put his book in the school library, available to be checked out by anyone in the school, and told Matthew that it was “the first of many.”  He’s never forgotten her or her perceptive way of helping him find his way.

We look forward to your next book, Matthew!

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