Empowering Young Minds: Dave Valeza’s Illustrations Come to Life at Timberline PK-8

Book illustrator, Dave Valeza, presenting to fifth graders at Timberline PK8

Fourth and fifth graders at Timberline PK-8 recently had a special visit from illustrator Dave Valeza, known for his work on the book they’re currently enjoying, “Four Eyes.” This exciting event was made possible thanks to fifth-grade math teacher Michelle Faye, who joined the University of Colorado Boulder Book Festival’s organizing committee this year.

The CU Book Festival founded by retired St. Vrain staff member and former CU faculty, Jackie Colt, selects one St. Vrain school each year to host a visit from a distinguished author or illustrator. The festival is generously funded by grants and supported by organizations like the CU Outreach and Engagement Department, CU Center for the Humanities and Arts, the Boulder Bookstore, and the Boulder Public Library. This three-day event features engaging activities, including visits from authors and illustrators to elementary schools, and children’s book author panels tailored for different grade levels.

TPK8 students listening to presentation
TPK8 student and book illustrator meet after presentation

The main objective of Valeza’s visit is to cultivate a love for reading and nurture a strong desire to explore more books. His work, “Four Eyes,” is part of a trilogy, offering students two additional books to delve into.

During his presentations, Valeza sheds light on various roles for writers and artists in the publishing world, some of which may be entirely new concepts for students. As Faye shared, “His energy and excitement in sharing his journey may very well ignite a passion in students interested in writing and art.” To make the experience even more special, each student received a personalized copy of the book, signed and addressed to them.

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