After early morning small group sessions with the youngest students at Jerger where he shared his personal sketchbook, he was greeted by a “rock star” reception as the older students cheered his entry into the gymnasium for back-to-back assemblies.
Pinkney shared stories of his journey as a young boy who began drawing at the age of 2. Through his childhood, Pinkney always had his sketchbook with him while working at a newspaper stand in Philadelphia, and there he met cartoonist John Liney who illustrated the comic strip “Henry.“ Pinkney said that the “seed of possibility” was planted when he realized the it was possible to make a living as an artist. Pinkney later would become one of the most famous names in children’s literature.
Jerger Media Specialist Marcia Millere was excited to have an illustrator of this caliber.
“He’s also really gifted in the way he presents to the children,” said Millere.
Pinkney explained how his dyslexia and learning difference did not stand in the way of his dreams. He credited teachers who knew that he wanted to learn, but knowing that he had difficulties allowed him to draw pictures to illustrate his knowledge.
“I realized there was something that I could do that other students couldn’t do as well,” said Pinkney.
He found that his visual arts talent would be the real difference and encouraged the students to find their talents and instilled the message: “Everyone has a gift.”