Brian Floca

Locust Valley Intermediate School and the Locust Valley Elementary Parents Council welcomed Caldecott Medal-winning author and illustrator Brian Floca on March 6.

Floca explained how he grew to love writing and drawing as a child and walked students through his process from idea to research to writing and illustrating. Students also had the opportunity to ask Floca how they can create books of their own.

The stage behind Floca at Locust Valley Intermediate School’s auditorium was also adorned with incredible cardboard vehicles and depictions of his book covers. In anticipation of the visit, Ann MacArthur Primary School students created projects under the theme “things that go” as many of Floca’s books center on vehicles and travel throughout history. Students built spaceships, boats and trains out of regular household items. Meanwhile, Locust Valley Intermediate School students drew posters resembling some of Floca’s works, such as “Lightship,” “Locomotive” and “Moonshot.”

Floca gave students a sneak peak of the upcoming book “With Dad” that he illustrated. Locust Valley Intermediate student Griffin Bathie and his grandfather acted as the models for the reference photos that Floca turned into the illustrations in the book. Floca gifted Bathie one of the first copies of the book before it releases in May.