TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour

The TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour is your opportunity to learn from and build personal connections with extraordinary book creators and their brand-new titles. Included in all Virtual Book Tour posts are original interviews with authors and illustrators, lesson plans, an activity designed for young people, and much more!

Welcome Sara O'Leary

Sara O’Leary on Percy’s Museum

In this post, we feature author Sara O’Leary, whose previous acclaimed titles include A Family Is a Family, which was named a USBBY Outstanding International Book. You can hear her speak about her new picture book, Percy’s Museum, illustrated by Carmen Mok, and try her fun “invitation to imagine” activity. You’ll also find other resources to explore. Thanks for joining us, and let us know what you think in the comments below!

Sara O'Leary and the cover of Percy's Museum.

Percy’s Museum

  • Written by Sara O’Leary, illustrated by Carmen Mok
  • Published by Groundwood Books, a division of House of Anansi Press
  • Release date: April 6, 2021

A young boy moves from the city to a new home in the country. He misses his friends, but at least it’s summertime — flowers are blooming, baby birds are hatching, and caterpillars are transforming into butterflies. Enraptured by the natural world, Percy climbs trees, tastes wild strawberries, and tries to catch fish in the river with his bare hands. Percy also likes to draw pictures of what he has seen that day. He collects interesting leaves and rocks, and insects, and he creates a way to share his collection with others. Percy’s Museum is a sweet story about embracing change, the excitement of discovery, and the wonder of nature and new friends.

An interior image from Percy's Museum, written by Sara O'Leary and illustrated by Carmen Mok, showing a young boy with brown skin and hair admiring a birds' nest full of eggs in a tree.
An interior image from Percy's Museum, written by Sara O'Leary and illustrated by Carmen Mok, showing a young boy's hands as he draws a nature scene with crayons.

Explore Percy’s Museum

Listen to Sara O’Leary talking with TeachingBooks about creating Percy’s Museum. You can click the player below or experience the recording on TeachingBooks, where you can read along as you listen, and also translate the text to another language.

Invitation to Imagine

TeachingBooks asks each author or illustrator on our Virtual Book Tour to share a writing prompt, a drawing exercise, or just an interesting question to spark curiosity and creativity. Enjoy the following activity contributed by Sara O’Leary.

Imagination Activity with Sara O’Leary

Think of a time that you went somewhere you’d never been before. How would you describe it to someone else who’d never been there either? What were the most surprising things you saw? Was there anything you didn’t expect to like and then found that you did?

Finish This Sentence . . . with Sara O’Leary

As part of our Virtual Book Tour, TeachingBooks asks authors and illustrators to complete short sentence prompts. Enjoy Sara O’Leary’s response.

A surprising thing that helps me work is . . .”

A surprising thing that helps me work is going for walks. There is a long beach near my house where there is hardly ever anyone else around, and I walk for an hour and just think my own thoughts. I can also do this in the city, but it probably means more people think I am rude because even while I am passing right by them, I am also miles away in my head.

“When I was a child, I wanted to be…”

When I was a child, I wanted to be an artist. I thought I would be one of those artists with my own easel, and I would set up somewhere nice like a park and draw people’s portraits for them. That never quite worked out for me. But I am very lucky because now I get to think up pictures in my head, and the artists I get to work with come along and make them real and even better than I ever could have imagined.

Thank you!

To wrap up this Virtual Book Tour, we thank Sara O’Leary for signing a book for all of us.

The title page of Percy's Museum signed by the author, Sara O'Leary.

More Connections to and Percy’s Museum

Explore all of the titles featured in the TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour: one link with author interviews, lesson plans, activities, and more!

Author photo by Lauren Solo. All other text and images are courtesy of Sara O’Leary, Carmen Mok, and Groundwood Books and may not be used without expressed written consent.

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