top of page

The Inspiring PBL Picture Book Every Innovative Teacher Wants Is Finally Here!

Let's take a deep dive into the latest release by Zach Rondot and Grayson McKinney. We proudly present The Expert Expedition: A Classroom Companion to The Expert Effect

In 2021, we released a book for educators called The Expert Effect, dedicated to providing students with deep and meaningful learning experiences. Since then, teachers around the world have found inspiration and ideas to help engage learners in an unforgettable way.

Our new picture book, The Expert Expedition, continues that mission by providing teachers and parents with a "classroom companion" to help bring the "Expert Effect" system directly to the people who make it all worthwhile: the kids! In this blog post, we'll share our top three reasons for why you'll want to be sure to add The Expert Expedition to your home or classroom library today!

Reason #1: the illustrations

This imaginative story of learning adventure combines beautifully articulated verse with bright, vibrant, and whimsical illustrations by secondary English teacher Suria Ali-Ahmed. While this is her debut picture book, The Expert Expedition is bound to capture the hearts of educators everywhere and the imaginations of learners of all ages. In her own words, Suria was inspired by different artists—Lewis Carroll’s illustrations in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Cathie Shuttleworth’s illustrations in The Children’s Treasure of Classic Poetry, and even Tim Burton’s drawings of his imaginative characters. Her art took on its own style, which is what you see today in the illustrations in The Expert Expedition. Check out the slideshow of some of our favorite illustrations below!

reason #2: the learning journey the story shares

The storyline in The Expert Expedition follows the same three-part system we outline in The Expert Effect: connecting students to learn from experts, helping students become experts through project-based learning, and giving students the opportunity to teach as an expert to an authentic audience. We believe there once was a time when the classroom teacher had to be the expert in everything they taught, but times have changed. We like to think of the modern teacher as an information agent—making connections between you and all the right people at the right time to inspire you to learn and become anything you want. That could mean taking you on field trips in real life, video chatting with experts in the field, or collaborating with other classrooms around the world.

Part 1: Learn from experts

Some of the coolest things we’ve ever learned stemmed from times when we, the teachers, didn’t know the answer to a really puzzling problem. Luckily, we don’t go to learn in a one-room schoolhouse where there’s only one possible person to learn from anymore. Nowadays, the world is our classroom, and everyone in it has something to teach us that we didn’t know before. When a learner in our classrooms wants to know something special, we reach out to our friends and neighbors to get them the As to their Qs!

Part 2: Become Experts through Project-based learning

Project-Based Learning engages you based on your natural curiosities. That’s important because when you’re curious about something, you enjoy the feeling of learning even more and you’re more likely to remember it long after you’ve left the classroom. As we like to say, when you get to learn about what you love, you learn to love your learning!

Part 3: Teach others as experts

A wise person once said something like this: “When you’re making something solely for your teacher, you want it to be acceptable. But when you’re making it for the wider world to see, you want it to be exceptional!” If there’s one part of our three-part system that gets us really excited, it’s the part when you finally get to share your learning with the world! xThe diverse characters in our picture book follow this same journey!

reason #3: the extras for teachers and students

Our goal in creating this book was to give you an intriguing and powerful guide to use with your students year after year when introducing, revisiting, or launching any type of authentic research projects in your classroom. It will be especially helpful if you've read The Expert Effect: A Three-Part System to Break Down the Walls of Your Classroom and Connect Your Students to the World, in which we thoroughly explain how to apply these deep learning concepts. We've also created this website ( to help you even further. Here, you'll find free resources to help guide you on your own "expert" expeditions.

But don't take our word for it...

Our goal in creating this book was to give you an intriguing and powerful guide to use with your students year after year when introducing, revisiting, or launching any type of authentic researbceh epsrpoejceicatlsl in your classroom. It will

A timely and important message, "expertly" put.

-Jarrett Lerner, Author-Illustrator

This would be a fantastic book to share with young scholars at the beginning of a research project to get them thinking and discussing topics and strategies for their work. I can see a group of students getting very excited about a project that opens up with this book.

-Toni Isaac, Librarian

This book allows students to see themselves as well as see their own teachers' passions present throughout. Not only does this book amplify the need to seek out new learning, but also provides multicultural representation with one driving theme: being innovative can help change the world.

-Laura Ferris, 4th Grade Teacher

The Expert Expedition will inspire your learners to pursue their curiosities and wonderings, so they can become experts too.

-Lu Gerlach, Educational Consultant

Learn more about our three-part system to break down the walls of your classroom and connect your students to the world by using this link: The Expert Effect.

We’d love for you to join the conversation by sharing your experience and your students' learning by adding to our hashtag, #ExpertEffectEDU, on social media. We'd also like to invite you to leave a comment and share your experience if you've read either of our books or tried out a project-based approach to learning!

27 views0 comments


bottom of page