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Students Enjoy Book Talk with the High Museum

Fifth and sixth-grade students from Holy Innocents' Episcopal School joined with hundreds of other students on Oct. 28 to participate in an online class called "Extending the Narrative" with the High Museum of Art. 

Guest speakers included author and editor Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrator Brian Pinkney and author/playwright Pearl Cleage. They discussed the children's book "Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down," written by Mrs. Pinkney and illustrated by Mr. Pinkney. The book tells about the four college students' sit-in at the Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., in February 1960. 

The Pinkneys discussed their process for writing and illustrating. Mrs. Pinkney keeps notebooks and journals all over her home and writes down every idea. She wakes up around 4 a.m. every morning to start writing. Mr. Pinkney starts by imagining how a book's characters feel and then begins sketching. He may sketch 100 drawings before finalizing the artwork. His favorite medium is watercolor because it is fluid and free, as he said. 

"It kind of feels like my hands are dancing when I'm painting," he said. "They have an energy to them." 

The book "Sit-in" is part of a display at the High Museum of Art called Picture the Dream: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement Through Children's Books. The book has also been adapted by Ms. Cleage as an animated short film that will premiere at the Alliance Theatre in January 2021.