``Would it bother you to have to change things that much?'' he asked. The students quickly nodded.
``Well, it bothered me, but if I got angry and stubborn and refused to make the changes they would not have published the book. . . . That's the lesson.''
Wisniewski, 44, a Maryland resident, spoke to kindergarten through fifth grade students at the school, part of the Wallingford-Swarthmore district. A former circus performer and puppeteer, he published his first book, The Warrior and the Wiseman, in 1989.
He told the students his life as an entertainer began after his high school graduation when, lacking funds for traditional college, he enrolled in Clown College. Upon graduation, he worked for two circuses.
His next job, Wisniewski said, was with a puppet theater, where he was hired by the woman who became his wife. It was in theater work, he said, that he taught himself the art of creating shadow puppets by cutting paper.
The birth of his children, Wisniewski said, meant he and his wife were not free to travel the country with their puppet show and he needed another job.
That change of fortune, he said, resulted in his showing his puppet work to a New York editor who encouraged him to write a children's book.
Wisniewski showed the students how the illustrations for his books began as three-dimensional images built by laying numerous tiny pieces of colored paper. These three-dimensional drawings then are photographed for use in the book, he said.
For story ideas, Wisniewski said, he has researched the history of many countries, including Iceland, the nations of West Africa, and the Maya lands of Central America. His Caldecott-winning book, Golem, is the story of a 16th-century Jewish community.
Fifth-grade student Ben Gibson, 11, said he liked meeting the man who wrote The Warrior and the Wiseman.
``I liked learning about what he used to do,'' Ben said. ``I liked his story because of the drawings.''
Classmate Brandon Smith, 10, was impressed with Wisniewski's career choices, while Breana Waraksa, 10, said she enjoyed the presentation because she wanted to become a famous artist.
Wisniewski said winning the Caldecott Medal was a great honor, but it came with an important lesson.
``It's great for the career, but it doesn't mean you get a fat head and don't talk to people anymore,'' Wisniewski said.
He added that since winning the medal, he had proposed two children's humor books, both of which were rejected by his original publisher. One of these rejected titles, The Secret Knowledge of Grownups, was later accepted by another publisher.
``You cannot take rejection personally,'' Wisniewski said. ``If you do, you paralyze yourself and you don't try anything new.''