St. Bernard’s welcomed beloved author and illustrator, Roxie Munro on February 13, 2019. Ms. Munro spoke with Junior School students about the non-fiction books she has written and illustrated for over thirty years.
She began her talk by showing the boys illustrations from some of her recent books. She showed them insects from her book Busy Builders and explained that she used to be scared of bugs until she started researching them for this book. Once she learned more about insects, they were no longer scary. Her illustrations in Hatch portrayed eggs from different birds, while Slithery Snakes presented close-up patterns of snake skins before revealing the species name of each snake. The boys were amazed by the range of colors and patterns found in nature thanks to emerald tree boas, spiny bush vipers, and coast garter snakes.
Ms. Munro shared a sneak peek into a new book that she is working on that features coral reef fish, including the spotted scorpionfish, longspine squirrelfish, and striated frogfish. The illustrations she showed were in progress, which gave her the opportunity to describe her working process. She explained that she creates many pencil drawings before making one ink drawing. She adds shadows into the ink drawing and then begins painting with colors. She explained that when you make a book, it is important to leave space within the illustrations for the words. She ended her talk by giving the boys a virtual tour of her studio that is located on the other side of the East River in Long Island City.
Ms. Munro’s visit was made possible by the Kronengold Authors Fund, established in 2016 by sixteen Old Boys who wanted to honor their former second-grade teacher, Ms. Kronengold. In his introduction, Mr. Schwartz aptly described Ms. Kronengold as a St. B’s Hall of Famer who “taught second grade here for many years and taught her students to be penetrating readers and expressive writers and forged a very strong bond with her students. Many of her Old Boys wanted to do something in her honor when she retired, so they made it possible for writers and illustrators to come each year to speak at the Kronengold author and illustrators series. We are very grateful to Ms. Kronengold for sharing her knowledge and wisdom over the years.” Ms. Kronengold was delighted to be in attendance, as she has been since the fund was first established.
Many thanks to Ms. Munro, Ms. Kronengold, and Mr. Schwartz. Special thanks to the Old Boys who established the Kronengold Authors Fund and continue to inspire younger generations to pursue their passion of reading.