So then I went to see Jon Scieszka. If you’ve ever seen Jon Scieszka, you know he’s as funny as he looks, or…
Yes, one of Pete’s many famous pals.
Jon talked about his family, mostly. Be sure to read Knuckleheads: Tall Tales and Almost True Stories of Growing Up Scieszka.
It explains everything about what makes him tick. He’s the second of SIX BOYS. No girls. If you look at their pictures, they all look about the same age.
Jon answered some questions at the end, of course. First his favorite books he’s written, and favorite book he’s read:
His favorite story from the Guys Read Books–THE ONE THE GUY’S EDITOR COULDN’T BEAR TO READ:
What he’s working on now. Something with Kate DiCamillo!
Of course he’s on tour promoting his latest SPACEHEADZ book.
The Spaceheadz books teach the kids to interact on the intrawebs, and there’s a nifty-frito website where readers can write their own stuff, read a blog, upload pictures. Major Fluffy even has a lame app.
If you ever have a chance to see Jon, geez. Don’t pass it up.
And bring your kids.
Another day, another author signing at the Reading Reptile. The beautiful, amazing, children’s bookstore.
Did I mention I live two blocks away?
Why yes, I DO live a charmed life.
This time, the author in question is also an illustrator. Mark Teague! Scholastic has sent him on a junket! Yes, they still do that for the chosen few. Mark has a new book, LaRue Across America: Postcards From the Vacation.
This time, the book signing was held at 5PM, and the crowd was mostly kids and their moms. It made for a different kind of signing than I’m used to. If you’re going to be a picture book author, you’ve gotta tolerate low-level chaos.
Mark related a real-life scenario that helped inspire his new book:
And the kids (and adults) enjoyed recognizing it in the finished product:
And of course we all LOVE to watch an artist create. Do you find that when artists are drawing or painting, they usually have to stop talking?
Listen to these questions. Mostly, Mark tells the kids the same things he’d tell adults.
If you couldn’t hear that last part, Mark said illustrator Don Wood told him artists usually draw characters that look like themselves. And he said it while Mark was drawing a picture of Ike the dog!
Having an audience of mostly rugrats didn’t faze Mark:
In fact, I don’t think there’s much that fazes Mark:
Because he’s kind of a Renaissance guy. He writes. He illustrates. He’s written a middle grade, too. He’s broken a lot of rules:
And what makes him smile? Yup. Same thing that makes every writer smile.
Ye Gods, Freckles McYoungest is going to murderlize me. Let the record show she is SEVENTEEN.
And the Mark Teague book she is emotionally attached to?