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Friday Reconnect: Finishing Kenny

By Chloe Grant & Oliver Perry, Read to Them Staff

Hello friends! Today our time with Kenny is coming to a close. We hope that you’ve had a great experience reading with us. We’ve sure had a lot of fun! From the power of friendship to the beauty of literature, we’ve learned a lot from our friends Kenny and Grahame. As you wrap up your reading we encourage you to take some time to think about what made this book special to you. In last week’s Friday Reconnect we talked about the role literature and poetry play in this text, and one thing we noticed is how beautiful the language in Kenny & the Dragon is! Similarly, when paired with the delightful illustrations in the text, we couldn’t keep away from the pages of this story! That’s all thanks to Tony DiTerlizzi, as he is both the author and illustrator of this text.

Did you get the chance to read our interview with him? In it, he gives some advice to young writers and illustrators, including to “Copy every artist you love. If you want to learn how they did it, you have to be them.” That quote is the inspiration for today’s activity. We loved this book so much that we want to invite you to copy a piece of Kenny.

Find a section or illustration (or both!) from the book that you really love. Study it. Why did you choose it, what stands out about it? Is it the way the lines are drawn, or the power of the language? Jot down some of the things you notice. Then, take that next step to start the learning process, copy it! Take the tools you see Tony DiTerlizzi using and apply them to your own idea. Maybe you’ll pick up a thesaurus and see how you can add fun language into one of your own stories. Or perhaps you’ll try to sketch in the same style of the illustrations in the book. Once it’s finished, give yourself a pat on the back for trying something new. You can also reflect on what worked in your piece and what didn’t, and try again! You can even draw inspiration from other authors and artists you love!

Have you found a section you like, but you’re not sure how to start your own story? Don’t worry! We have some writing prompts to help:

  • If you could befriend any mythical creature, what would it be? How would you meet them? What would their name be? Write about the kinds of adventures you and your mythical pal would have.

  • Kenny puts on quite the play at the end of our story. If you were to write a play, what would it be about? Try writing a short play idea. If you’re really feeling it, you can turn it into a full play, and even act it out with friends!

  • Write a short review of Kenny & the Dragon. Make sure to include what you liked, and even what you didn’t. In the end, give it a rating out of 10.

  • This story has a happy ending, but what if it didn’t end there? Add a new chapter to Kenny & the Dragon using the power of your imagination. What kind of things do Kenny and Grahame get up to? Does Kenny stay friends with Charlotte? You decide what happens after the final page.

  • Who was your favorite character in Kenny & the Dragon? Was it the quick-witted and brave Kenny, or the wise and intelligent Grahame? Perhaps it was one of the other characters, such as one of Kenny’s parents, George, or Charlotte. Whoever you choose, write a little about why they were your favorite.

We can’t wait to see all of the art you create, and to one day be reading your books and marveling over your illustrations! Until then, we hope you continue to find inspiration from the artists around you. Thanks for reading with us!

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