Children’s book author Jerry Pallotta visits Stillwater Elementary

Which animal would win in a deadly fight? A jaguar or a skunk? An alligator or a python? A polar bear or a grizzly bear? Stillwater Elementary students had the opportunity to find out on Wednesday, Nov. 15 with a special visit from children’s author Jerry Pallotta.

Mr. Pallotta is the author of the popular “Who Would Win?” books, a non-fiction series that shows what would happen if two animals were to face off in the wild. The books engage young readers with captivating photos and facts about the two animals, before the victor is revealed at the end of each story. The series is so beloved by Stillwater Elementary students that the author’s books “fly off the library shelves,” according to Sue O’Malley, the school’s Digital Media Instructor.

Knowing how popular Mr. Pallotta’s books were amongst students, Ms. O’Malley thought it would be a great idea to have the author visit Stillwater Elementary. She worked with Principal Rebecca Toleman on organizing the event and promoted Mr. Pallotta’s impending visit at the school’s September “Meet and Greet” with a “Who Would Win?” scavenger hunt.

Students were filled with excitement when Mr. Pallotta arrived at Stillwater Elementary on Nov. 15. They eagerly listened as the author spoke about his books, what influences his work, and the writing process. Mr. Pallotta grew up going to Peggotty Beach with his family, spending his time “doing all sorts of crazy stuff on the water” with his 72 cousins. He described how his upbringing inspired several of his books, including “Ocean Cousins” and “The Ocean Alphabet Book.”

A children’s book author for over 30 years, Mr. Pallotta is very familiar with the writing process and what it takes for a book to get published. Students were fascinated when Mr. Pallotta showed them rough drafts of one of his “Who Would Win?” books and a draft of his new story about moths. The author explained how a book can go through many revisions before the final version is published. He even brought in a poster to show younger students how a book comes out of a printer.

Overall, Mr. Pallotta’s visit was a hit for students, faculty and even himself! Students and staff were captivated by his presentation, while the children’s book author was “very impressed by our students, teachers and our beautiful building,” said Ms. O’Malley.

To top off the visit, every student in the building was treated to one of Mr. Pallotta’s books, thanks to the Stillwater Elementary PTA!

To learn more about Jerry Pallotta and his books, visit his website here.