Skyping in Author and Illustrator Jan & Phil Huling

After the success of Skyping in Author and illustrator Mike Artell (from Louisiana) into our sixth grade classes this past February, the fifth grade classes had the opportunity to visit with Jan and Phil Huling (from New Jersey).


The Hulings are the author and illustrator of “Puss in Cowboy Boots”, a remake of the traditional fairy tale story of “Puss in Boots” with a setting in Texas/USA. While the Hulings visit schools to talk to students regularly, it was their first time to visit via Skype.

Just like Mike Artell, they are exploring the opportunities and possibilities a virtual visit can bring to students around the world, who otherwise would never have the opportunity for these experiences. Thank you to all authors, illustrators, artists who are pioneering and paving the way for more opportunities like these. Pssst, if you an author, illustrator or want to share your passion for your work with students virtually, please contact me to arrange for a Skype visit).

Students had read the Huling’s book previously in class and had created their own fairy tale story from traditional ones, yet retold from a different character’s perspective. Students asked the Hulings many questions, such as how long did it take to write the story or illustrate the book? When did they know that they wanted to be a writer or an artist?

I was very proud of one student’s question, when she asked if Jan Huling was afraid of infringing on someone’s copyright when she used the “Puss in Boots” as the storyline of her own book. It was the same groups of 5th graders, who a few weeks earlier were taught  About Using Images off Wikipedia, while creating a photostory as a book report of a bibliography.

It seemed that that student had made a CONNECTION to what we had discussed before. While she might not understand  all of the copyright laws (who does?), she seemed to have UNDERSTANDING and AWARENESS of the issue.

Here are 90 seconds (time limit imposed by Flickr) of the Skype conference with Jan & Phil Huling, including the copyright question and Jan’s answer. The recording was done using a Flip Camera and it was edited in iMovie09.