‘Big Nate’ cartoonist visits Bird Rock Elementary School

By Lorri Sabban

The “Big Nate” tour bus rolled into La Jolla and stopped at Bird Rock Elementary School on Feb. 13 for author Lincoln Peirce to speak to students about his popular book series.

Peirce explained his creative process — tapping into his childhood memories for inspiration for the characters and situations. He also showed the students how he illustrates his stories by making sketches that were projected on a screen in the school auditorium.

The students oohed and aahed as Peirce shared the finer details of what goes into creating the entertaining tales of Nate Wright, a rebellious and energetic sixth-grader, who is no stranger to the detention room. The “Big Nate” series is No. 4 on the New York Times children’s bestseller list.

Peirce told the students that at almost 50-years-old, he feels he is a better illustrator now than when he first started doodling comics as a kid.

His books have been translated into many different languages, including German and Mandarin Chinese.

Peirce said he has four more “Big Nate” books in the making. The students seemed to enjoy listening to his inspiring words to “keep reading and drawing.”

The visit was arranged by parent volunteer Ronit Austgen and Warwick’s bookstore.