With giggling, squirming, arms waving, bouncing and great hilarity, students of the Greenbrier School District were entertained and educated by best-selling author Eric Litwin. A former teacher and musician, Litwin now travels the country giving almost 200 shows a year for elementary students who love his books about Pete the Cat. He wrote the original four stories about Pete the Cat after meeting James Dean, the owner of the real black cat and the illustrator of Pete the Cat.
This soft-spoken author wasted no time in revving up the kids in the Fine Arts Building to follow him in song and movements as he gave them fun instructions to wave their arms, sit up straight, bounce in their seats and just plain have fun with him as he sang and told stories. Librarian Sara Havens first contacted him in January of this year because all the students in the kindergarten through fifth grades were reading his four books. Although he is usually booked up to two years in advance, he made time to visit Greenbrier.
Melissa Duncan and Teribeth Nokes rounded out the team of Librarians involved in the planning for this event.The students read and sang his books many times before his visit. The art teachers let the students create pictures of Pete the Cat to hang in their buildings and created a large Pete the Cat to decorate their lobbies.
Litwin is described as a “guitar strumming, book writing, harmonica blowing, song singing, folksy, fun type of guy.” He is the No. 1 New York Times Best Selling author of the first four Pete the Cat picture books — having sold over a million copies. They have been translated into six languages and won 14 state and national awards including a Theodor Geisel Seuss Honor Award. All of his books have music CDs that go with them.
Havens said, “With the free download-able songs his books were an instant hit! The students fell in love! Litwin has a unique musical ability and combines that with rhyme and rhythm to create simple yet engaging folk songs and folktales.”