Montana Book Tour!

Last week Kelsey, gigi, and I visited my parents in Montana, and also stopped by my old elementary school and a few other schools in the Flathead Valley to talk about making books. The drive from Seattle to Kalispell, MT takes about 9 hours. I have mixed feelings about such long car trips. On the plus side of things it is interesting to watch the landscape change and it can be nice to have the time to come up with oodles of ideas. On the minus end of it all is watching the landscape change and having lots of time to come up with a bunch of terrible ideas.

The school visits went pretty well. I had a bit of a loose/informal presentation style, but I think it worked for the kids. I did readings of Vote for Me! (got lots of laughs from people of all ages . . . K through 8th and adults too . . . I felt pretty good about that), got suggestions from the kids about what to draw, and made a bunch of really terrible jokes (surprisingly, the kids laughed at those too . . . hmmm . . . maybe I just had a funny sign on my back or something . . . ). Some of my favorite bits from presenting?

1. Getting not one but two requests at two different schools to draw a unicorn with a mustache.

2. Seeing some of my favorite teachers!

3. Feeling like a rockstar when kids came up to me and wanted to shake my hand.

4. Finding out that I had inspired kids to create more.

5. Turtle-dragon-snake-pig-lizard.

6. T-rex and angry bunny kid models.

7. Getting tons of kids asking me about my giant pencil and how I sharpen it.

Also, Hilary Matheson at The Daily Interlake did a nice article about my visit to FME:

I really like that picture. I usually don't care for profile shots of me, but this one turned out pretty nice. The funny thing about it, though, is that the one person who is turned away from me in the picture and appears to be having a side conversation or on the cellphone is my mom.

I was really impressed by Caleb (see article above) and some of the other older students. They asked some really great questions and were quite enthusiastic about making stories. Very inspirational for me!