On behalf of our school community, I would like to thank you for your recent visit to our school. All of our children, Kindergarten through fifth grade and their parents, were enthralled with your reading of Billy Bee's Adventures. Your down to earth manner makes Billy Bee come alive for the youngsters. Your messages are positive and appropriate for all ages. Thank you for giving us a part of your life and we look forward to seeing you again. We are true Beeeeelievers!
George Paul . . . Principal / Louise Davy Trahan / Billerica, MA
What a performance! To stand back and observe 125 students and 10 or more adults become enraptured by your Billy Bee stories and what you have to say has inspired me to dream dreams. Forty-seven of those students are with me every day and we have a joyous group who has fallen in love with Billy Bee, his author and his illustrator. I have students drawing pictures of Billy Bee on their papers – even on Math papers! For someone to motivate and inspire children like this is a wonder to watch. There were times during your presentation when tears were in my eyes while I watched you connect in a very personal way to each and every child. It is a gift… a gift that you are sharing and if I have anything to do with it, will continue to share with more and more children and more and more adults. The children love your stories. They come to my classroom and ask to borrow your books. They ALL want to be Writers and Illustrators. You have captured their enthusiasm, their joy, their spirit. Just like Billy Bee, they “believe” they can do anything.Thank you for this, most amazing, journey.
Alice N. Jette … 5th grade teacher. / Riddle Brook School New Hampshire
It was such a pleasure to observe our students listen to your poetic language and rhythmical tone as you shared your story line from "The Adventures of Billy Bee" from memory. Your words relative to your beginnings and your creative pursuits after much personal growth, left your audience even more enamored with your stories. Your work still resounds in the classrooms of North East High School, as you have been an inspiration to many.
Gloria Mezikofsky . . .Chair Person /Northeast Metropolitan Regional Vocational School District.
Author, Peter Thomas along with illustrator John Mahomet of the Billy Bee series challenged us to focus on our ideas and strive to achieve our goals. His emphasis on the writing process reinforced our curriculum. Peter's style and presentation captivated the students and held their attention. For days following our presentation, everyone was "buzzing" about Billy Bee. Prior to Peter's visit, I had the opportunity to speak with him about the topics that he would be covering. His well organized approach and age appropriate topics put me at ease. True to his word, the presentation was exactly as I anticipated. Highly Recommended
Peter Bonaccorsi . . . Principal / Milford Elementary School / Milford, NH
My children have been reciting over and over the words 'A BIZZ, A BUZZ, A BEEZ, A BAMM - I'M BILLY BEE, I AM, I AM! I CAN DO ANYTHING - I KNOW I CAN CAUSE I'M BILLY BEE, I AM, I AM!" The repetition of these words throughout the story adds to the memorization of the children and at the kindergarten level this is very important. It helps them learn in a simple way, a way that they will remember.
Kimberly Havens. . .Teacher / Revere, MA
Peter Thomas has developed a message that all children need to hear and internalize. If you believe in yourself, even if you make a mistake, hard work and effort will bring about a positive result. Peter's message flies home on the wings of Billy Bee. Peter's belief in his message coupled with a genuine desire to make a difference in children's lives is easily visible in his presentation. The children were captivated by his energy and enthusiasm. As administrators of primary aged public school children, we are careful about who interacts with our children because of the extreme trust they have in adults and how easily they can be influenced. Peter Thomas is a superb model for the children. In a short period of time Peter has made us a believer in him. He is a good person who carries a strong and important message to the children.
William H. Estey . . . Principal / Fred C. Underhill School / Hooksett, NH
Dear Mr. Thomas,
Before I thank you immensely for visiting our school last Wednesday, I have a confession to make. I walked into your presentation last week with a stack of papers under my arm! Yes, I fully intended to be able to Multi-task as usual and listen and correct at the same time. What I found happening was that after about five minutes I put my papers on the floor and sat captivated and fully entertained. I was captivated by your storytelling, by your sharing of life experiences and by the look on my students faces as they watched you bring the art of writing to life! You are truly a highly motivating and highly inspirational speaker. Thank you for pulling me in and planting that seed of inspiration inside of me, for me to share.
After your presentation and feeling that inspiration, I took my class back to the classroom. I canned the math lesson I had planned to teach and I said “lets write.” I had planned a writing lesson for Thanksgiving, so we went with that. The students had to write a story taking the turkey’s point of view as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches. After a few writing sessions the essays were complete. As I read them I found a pattern happening. A few turkeys were ending up as part of the Thanksgiving Feast but most of the turkeys were escaping. They broke free from the farms, they out ran the hunters – it was like they became turkey super heroes! Then I saw the pattern of the “Billy Bee” motto – “I can do anything, I can I can” and I realized they had used that inspiration and transferred it to the turkey in their stories. What power you have to touch the lives of so many!
In ending this letter I would just like to say that I hope you continue this incredible gift that you have. Our children need people like you in today’s very difficult and challenging world to inspire and encourage them. Your story of Jillie & Billy Bee touched my heart and I think everyone in the world should read that story! It’s incredible! I feel very lucky that my class was able to be a part of your presentation. Thank You, Thank You!
Lisa Steere, … 5th grade teacher / Riddle Brook School / New Hampshire
P.S. Yesterday, the day after your visit, I was bringing my kids to lunch. A few kids started saying the “Billy Bee” motto. Soon my whole class was walking through the hall chanting “I can do anything, I know I can, Cause I’m Billy Bee, I am, I am.. I wish you had been there!
I was in the library with my class of eighth graders and three classes of sixth graders and I can tell you that although I love these kids and have chosen to spend my career with them (24 years so far) they can be an unruly lot- especially our present eighth graders! But Peter Thomas was such an engaging speaker he held those students enthralled for an hour while he talked about his books and his personal stories. It was a real Horatio Alger sort of story and our students seemed to transfer it to possibilities for themselves.
Harmony Anderson . . . 8th Grade Teacher / Epsom Central School / NH
Peter's charismatic personality grabbed the attention of our youngsters and teachers. In forty-five minutes he made us believe we had important ideas to share with others. He inspired us to write and see where it takes us. Students in all grade levels were eager to write when they got back to their classrooms. Amen!!!
Susan DuBois . . . Principal / Nabnasset School / Westford, MA
I want to thank you for your visit to Vernon Hill recently. My kindergarten students are truly BEElievers! They have been chanting "I can do anything, I know I can" all week, and that is music to my ears! You have a gift for capturing our attention and I look forward to future books / materials from your creative mind!
Debbie Vuona . . .Vernon Hill Elementary
As a teacher, I found your books to be very well rounded and educational. The lessons taught in these books can be used with any age and are everyday lessons. Thank you for writing such powerful stories with great lessons and illustrations. We can't wait to read about Billy Bee's next adventure.
Mrs. Christine Nagle. . . St. Michael School / North Andover, MA
Billy Bee's illustrations are imaginative. Beautifully composed and full of personality. The rhymes are peppered with fun new words for children's vocabularies and mind play.
Robin Rome...Bilingual Spanish
I truly enjoyed your presentation of your Billy Bee books. My students found the stories to be very exciting and the children were very involved. My students are bilingual and I was amazed to see how much they knew from your stories. The illustrations and short explanations say it all.
Jeannie La Rosa. . .Revere School
Thank you for your outstanding presentation. The children enjoyed you and all your wonderful stories. The Billy Bee series focuses on self-esteem which is so very important when we speak about children. Your illustrations are bold and bright, capturing the imagination of every child. The rhyming of the words is so comforting and pleasurable, making listening easy. I hope we will enjoy another visit with you in the future. Thank you for sharing Billy Bee with us.
Mrs. O'Connor . . . Abraham Lincoln School / Revere, MA
I am a teacher at the Reed Academy, which has been developed for special needs children. Most come from broken homes and have very low self-esteem. The majority of students here have attention deficit disorder and behavior problems. In short, the boys are in desperate need of a male who can be a positive role model that they can relate to in their current situation. Such a person is Peter Thomas. As he spoke to them about his books and his own life, I watched their faces light up. They seemed to feel there was hope for them to achieve some success also if they find and use their gifts as he did. If there were more people like Peter Thomas, the number of young people ruining their lives would diminish. He needs to tell his story, which resembles a "Good Will Hunting" scenario (Peter comes from Boston also).
Ursula Lyons . . . Teacher - Counselor / Reed Academy
Billy Bee offers children an enchanting adventure that is destined to capture their imagination and undivided attention. The story line provides a serious theme certain to inspire the young reader. Highly recommended!
Marjory A. Stewart... Executive Vice President Massachusetts Bay Community College