Author and illustrator Matt McElligott shared an important message about the benefits of hard work and determination during a recent visit to Granby Elementary School. An avid reader since grade school, McElligott told Granby students that by the time he was in seventh grade he found himself wanting more out of the books he was reading and would often think of alternate endings or would imagine what might happen after the last chapter.
Fast-forward to today and McElligott talked about the impact of those early beginnings along with the near three-year journey to create one of his newest releases, Benjamin Franklinstein Lives!. The idea for the book, a character named Franklinstein, was inspired by something funny his son said after watching Franklin The Turtle cartoon and the movie Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein. McElligott, who co-authored the book with his best friend Larry Tuxbury, said in reference to the character development process, the writing, re-writing, editing, re-editing, and illustration process for the book, “Yeah, it was hard. Just because something is hard doesn’t mean it is not fun.” His message was very poignant and inspirational for both the students and the adults in the audience and served as a reminder that hard work and fun can go hand-in-hand.
McElligott wrapped up his visit at Granby with a luncheon with 5th and 6th grade students. Students from the two grade levels worked in pairs to produce book trailers, similar in premise to movie trailers, about one of McElligott’s books. The students used MovieMaker software to create a 40 to 60-second teaser about the book and characters and the top eight trailers were previewed for McElligott at the luncheon.