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Hicks Highlights

Today I spent a lovely afternoon with all the 2nd graders at Hicks Elementary in Houston, TX. That’s right, just me and grade 2! We had fun discussing reading, writing, and blowing stuff up for movie special effects! Now they can pass along some of those stories to the rest of the school!
I even got some of them to hang back for a group shot!
Thanks to Mrs. Sintuphant for inviting me and thanks to all the Hicks 2nd graders! Keep writing. Keep reading. And speaking of reading… be sure to check out one of the books I signed for your library. I even included a special message just for you!
Oh yes, there was a silly version…


A Day in Colorado

Today I was all over Brush, Colorado where I began my day at Thomson Primary! There was an early morning sea of tiny faces smiling back at me and it was a grand way to kick-start a cold Colorado day!
My next stop was Beaver Valley Elementary! After a brief award ceremony (nothing to do with me; I was just the headliner), I performed for all the 3rd – 6th graders. They were loaded with energy and a ton of great questions!
My final stop was at the East Morgan County Library where I performed for kids and parents alike. I even met some students from my first two shows, where a couple said some of my lines the same time I did. It was like playing a greatest hits tour!
Thanks to Mrs. Alwin for inviting me and setting everything up. Thanks to Christi Bellis and everyone at the East Morgan County Library for prepping for my evening event. Thanks to Trevor and Mr. Acosta for my tech support for the day. And a big thanks to all the Brush, CO kids! It was great hanging out with you (some even twice) and I hope to make it back to your fun state very soon!


Last Day in Kansas

Today I ended my latest Kansas tour at Hodgeman County Elementary in Jetmore, KS! I began the day with a presentation to all the 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students that ran right into a writing workshop for all the same kids. It was essentially a two-hour session; a first for me! You couldn’t tell by the kids behavior and enthusiasm, though. Everyone was wonderful and had solid questions all the way to the end!
After a delicious school lunch, courtesy of Mrs. Pitts, I gave another presentation to all the Kinder, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders. They were just as great as the older kids and seemed to have way more fun than is normally allowed in school!
Thanks to Mrs. Webb for inviting me and setting everything up. Thanks to the HCE students who were kind enough to shuffle around tables and chairs. Thanks to Julian for the cool fez monkey drawing—another fez monkey for my collection. Thanks to Mrs. Pitts for he delicious lunch (your students have it good!). Thanks to Mr. Chaney for the jar of Kansas honey. And a big thanks to all the HCE students.


Rounding out at Roosevelt

What presidential tour would be complete without a stop at Roosevelt Elementary? I finished my McPherson expedition with another presentation for 1st-5th grade Roosevelt Bears. I had lunch and some more signing of the books. And then…all of 2nd grade from the district was bussed in to join me for two writing workshops!
Thanks again to Mrs. Harrison for the whirlwind tour. Thanks to Principal Beam for the early morning tech support. And a big thanks to not only all the Roosevelt Bears but also all of McPherson 2nd graders for providing an enjoyable finish to your town. I hope you enjoyed my writing tips and go on to write something great! And I hope everyone who got a copy of my book enjoys the read. And if you like my book, keep going…read someone else’s, too!


Kickin’ it in Kansas

With our Texas winter getting a late start, I finally got a taste when I travelled all the way up to McPherson, KS—waking up to a balmy 26º! I was fortunate enough to visit two schools today, beginning with Washington Elementary—home of the Eagles! I gave a great big group presentation to all the 1st-5th graders in their cool commons area. But before that, I was greeted with an exciting welcome banner (signed by every member of the audience) and a gift of a cool Batman drawing (thanks, GT!). All the Washington Eagles soared with loads of energy, insightful questions, and talented elephant sounds!
After signing a bunch of books, I zipped over to Lincoln Elementary (it’s been a very presidential day) for a little lunch, more book signing, and a big show for all of the 1st-5th grade Lions! They were a great audience and if they keep up the good behavior, some of them might even get a copy of one of the many bonus books I signed.
Thanks to Mrs. Harrison for inviting me and setting everything up. Thanks for more help from Mrs. Bohnenblust and Mrs. Harnish. Thanks to Mr. Walker for figuring out the projector system at Washington (you would think I’d have it down by now but every school is different). And a big thanks to all the Washington Eagles and the Lincoln Lions. Keep soaring and roaring, you guys!


National Hat Day

This Friday I had the pleasure of visiting not one but TWO schools in Corpus Christi, TX! My first stop was at Schanen Estates Elementary—home of the Shamrocks! I gave one presentation in the cafeteria in front of all the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders in the school. Everyone seemed to have a great time—including me! After a fun chat with Mrs. Lopez, I packed up and zipped over to…
Moore Elementary—home of the Eagles! The 4th graders were clued in to the fact that it was National Hat Day today (my first time visiting a school during such a momentous occasion), and I was greeted by kids with lids of all types. It was a grand finale to my visit to Corpus Christi!
Thanks to Mrs. Costilla and Mrs. Lopez for inviting me. Thanks again to both of them for the wonderful gift bags—very generous. And a big thanks to all the Shamrocks and Eagles! Happy National Hat day and remember my many hats when you discover what you want to be when you grow up. Remember, whatever it is, you can do that!



Happy New Year!

My first author visit of 2016 had me at Westcreek Elementary in Fort Worth, TX! I gave a presentation for the 2nd and 3rd graders, one for 5th grade, and wrapped up with the 4th graders. I was pleased to see just how many Westcreek students were interested in writing (and even had more writing questions than special effects question—doesn’t happen all the time). It sounds as if 4th grade is good to go for their upcoming school writing camp!
Thanks to Mrs. Lovings for the introduction. Thanks to Mrs. Bagley for inviting me and the educational literary lunch. And a big thanks to all the young readers and writers at Westcreek Elementary. And good luck to all the 4th graders at the writing camp. It sounds as if it’s going to be fun, entertaining, pleasurable, amusing, and agreeable! That’s some thesaurus work right there.


Swimming with the Sharks!

Today I enjoyed the company of the students of Shields Elementary in Victoria, TX—better known as the Sharks! The day before, I had just flown in from chilly Kansas City and had driven all the way down to Victoria where no jacket was needed. I must not have been ready for the shift in temperature because I was sweating in the South Texas humidity (something I haven’t been used to since living in Brownsville, TX). I still had a great time and was once again thrilled by how many young writers there were in both audiences. Way cool!
Thanks to Mrs. Stevens for inviting me (sorry I missed you). Thanks for Mrs. Mascorro for all the help. Thanks to Mr. Benhardt for the tech help and MacGyvering the mic situation. Thanks to Mrs. Mowles for taking pictures. And a big thanks to all the Shields Sharks. Keep writing those stories!


A Cast of Characters!

Today was “Character Day” at Brock Elementary in Fort Worth, Texas where, for once, I wasn’t the biggest character in school! All the students and teachers were dressed as his or her favorite book characters so I had an interesting view from the stage to say the least.
I gave three shows to three great groups of Brock Tigers and even signed a bunch of books. Speaking of which, I’m sorry that I missed signing your Speed Racer book, Nicolas. But as I mentioned, if I missed anyone, feel free to mail it to me with an SASE (we still remember what this is, right?) and I’ll sign it and get it right back to you. I’m happy to sign as many as you like!
Thanks to Mrs. Wellman (AKA Arnie the Doughnut) for inviting me and for the riveting lunch conversation (not to mention the fun stories in the teachers’ lounge—I always knew that they were having way more fun in there than they let on). Thanks to Mrs. Gustin for helping setting up. Thanks to Mrs. Tucker for the introductions. Thanks to Mrs. Graves for the superb photography. And a big thanks to all the Brock Elementary Tigers! I’m thrilled that you enjoyed my show and don’t forget your GRR!


A Day with Dolphins!

Today I traveled all the way down (not up) to Portland … Texas, where I spent a fun day at WC Andrews Elementary — home of the Dolphins! I gave three performances amid some of the many cool dolphin murals and answered some great questions from the many young writers in all three audiences. Unfortunately, I had to shorten my first show since 1st grade had to leave for a field trip. But hey, they got to see me AND The Nutcracker today!
Now, I usually don’t use a podium, but I had to make an exception when I found out that the WCA podium was actually an Eagle Scout project from fellow Eagle Scout, Marco F. Muñoz of Troop 349. Great job, Marco!
Thanks to Mrs. Vela for inviting me. Thanks to Mrs. Sarchet for the tech support. Thanks to Principal Tarkington for the introductions. And a big thanks to all the WCA Dolphins! You were a great audience all around!