NEWS Walnut Valley Unified School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 880 S. Lemon Avenue
October 22, 2012 Walnut, CA 91789
Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
(909) 595-1261 ext. 31204
Splat the Cat Author Visits Walnut
WALNUT, CA—Children’s author Rob Scotton introduced his latest entry in the best-selling Splat the Cat series during a visit to Walnut Elementary School on October 22.
The English author read the new adventures of the fuzzy black feline in Secret Agent Splat. His wife Liz, who is also an artist, was at his side on stage turning pages during the school-wide assembly in the amphitheater.
Scotton also shared that Splat was actually inspired by his neighbor’s cat.
While mowing the lawn, he noticed something on the fence next to him – his neighbor’s scraggly snaggle-toothed black cat. He admitted his description was more of a characterization.
And just then a gust of wind blew it off the fence, he said.
“We all know cats are the most fantastic acrobats. And whenever they fall from a height, they flip their tail around to make sure they’re legs are under them. And when they land on the ground they land safely on all four feet – no harm done,” he described to the students.
Unfortunately, the cat didn’t know how to do that, but he hit the ground on a nice soft piece of grass, Scotton said.
“And at that moment a little voice in my head said ‘Splat!’” he said.
Then he raced into the house and began to doodle on a piece of paper with the name Splat in his head.
And that was the beginning of the adventures of the famous little square-bodied cat.
“I try to make simple shapes first of all that I can turn into characters,” he explained.
“Who would like to see how I draw Splat the Cat?” he asked. The audience cheered in response.
Then the lanky and amiable author gave students an art lesson on how to draw the famous feline.
The children were ready with clipboards, paper and pencils so they could draw their own version of Splat.
“We’re going to have a lot of fun! He’s a big fat body with really skinny legs and arms. If you can draw a big rectangle - you can draw Splat,” he said.
Scotton applauded the 470 students in the audience who proudly showed off their work after the step-by-step lesson.
“Excellent, beautiful, awesome, they are beautiful, brilliant – well done, well done!” he exclaimed.
Fifth grader Yuan Legaspi was chosen to draw on stage and Scotton autographed the 10 year-old’s masterpiece after the assembly.
“It was a wonderful opportunity for our students to develop their spatial and linguistic intelligences and to expand their artistic expression,” explained Principal Janet Green.
“It was cool - I drew Splat!” said first grader Brandy Rodriguez.
Scotton also drew the familiar character Russell the Sheep, from his first series of hit books, answered questions, and autographed books during his visit.
Before becoming an author he designed greeting cards “which was fabulous practice,” he said.
“What’s it like to be an artist?’ asked one student.
“I spend my entire day drawing characters like Splat the Cat and Russell the Sheep. I just have so much fun, it’s a fabulous, wonderful way to spend my time,” he said.
“I’ve written a lot of books and had a lot of fun doing it, and I hope you’ve enjoyed them as well,” he added.
The assembly was sponsored by Mrs. Nelson’s Toy and Book Shop in La Verne.
Author Rob Scotton read his new book Secret Agent Splat during an assembly at Walnut Elementary School on October 22. His wife Liz turned the pages as he shared the new adventure of the fuzzy feline.
Walnut Elementary staff and parents helped all 470 students get a good view of the new Rob Scotton book during the assembly.
Scotton showed the children how to draw Splat beginning with a big rectangle and skinny arms and legs.
Fifth grader Yuan Legaspi was chosen to draw Splat on stage during the assembly. Also shown Liz Scotton.
Walnut Elementary students happily began drawing their own version of Splat.
The children proudly held up their artwork and received cheers from the author.
Second grader Timothy Kim asked how old the famous author was when he started to draw.
Author Rob Scotton praised Yuan Legaspi for his drawing of Splat.
After the assembly. Scotton signed copies of his books for students.