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First School in 2017

My first visit of the year had me taking a short jaunt down to Houston, TX at Field Elementary! I spoke to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders who had been brainstorming great questions long before I arrived–and it showed! And that’s not all they did before I showed up; most of the students helped create cool welcome banners!
Between shows I enjoyed an entertaining lunch with a few of Field’s best readers and writers. I got to answer some more insightful questions and I learned about all their favorite books. It was great talking to you: Ada, Aeofo, Alexa, Alyssa, Jasmin, Kendahl, Nadeline, Nadiyah, and Sofia!
I also got to sign tons of books for many of the students, thanks to the Field PTO!
Even though Mia’s Kindergarten class didn’t make my show, she had to come down to the library and get her book signed. I’m glad you enjoyed my book, Mia!
Thanks to Mrs. Esquivel for all the hard work and great company. Thanks to Mrs. Ho Peché and the Field PTO for inviting me and setting up the book signing. And the biggest thanks of all goes to the great students at Field Elementary. I couldn’t ask for a better way to begin the new year!


Last School Visit of the Year!

Day of three of three in DFW had me up north in Allen, TX (right down the road from the old Wishbone backlot). I spent a fun-filled day with the Vikings of Vaughan Elementary! There were banners greeting me on the way in and tons of kids who welcomed me face-to-face. A very nice reception!
Between shows I even got the chance to visit some classrooms where I answered some more great questions from the kids (and teachers). Here we are at Mrs. Duckworth’s and Mrs. Domenico’s class. I even got to sign Hunter’s own Garfield book. It looked very well-read!
Thanks to Mrs. Almand and the PTA for inviting me out. Thanks to Mrs. Beasley for all the help and the nice pics. And a big thanks to each and every one of the Vaughan Vikings! Enjoy your last week of school and Happy Holidays to all!


Day Two in DFW!

Day two of three in DFW had me in Dallas at Thurgood Marshall Elementary—home of the Bulldogs! I was greeted with a cool welcome sign as well as a bulletin board where several students came up with alternate endings to some of my books—sweet! There are quite a few creative story endings up there proving that TME is full of talented young writers!
In the middle of performing four shows in the school library for 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th, I was lucky to have lunch with four 5th and 6th graders who were chosen for their great attitudes and behavior. They got to ask more questions and fun discussing some of their favorite books. It was a pleasure to meet you: Ariyanna, Devan, Larissa, and Nevaeh!
Thanks to Dr. Dowd for having me out and for all the great work prepping the students for my arrival. Thanks to Mr. Stengel for the tech support. Thanks again to my four lunch companions. And the biggest thanks of all to the rest of the TME Bulldogs! Keep reading and keep writing those stories. I know that you’re going to be all you can be at TME!


Back in Texas!

Today I began a short DFW tour with the last three school visits of the year! One of three was in Richardson, TX at Yale Elementary —home of the Roadrunners! Even though the school is going through some renovations, the 3rd, 4th, 5th, & 6th graders fit nicely in the library for three fun shows. Everyone had wonderful questions but, as usual, I couldn’t get to everyone. Don’t forget to email me anytime with any questions you want: HERE. I hope these Roadrunners race into reading as soon as they get home!
Thanks to Mrs. Boesch for inviting me (sorry I didn’t get to meet you today). Thanks to Mrs. Yates for taking over, for lunch, and for all the great pictures. Thanks to Mr. David for the tech support. Thanks to Ms. Moore’s 3rd grade class for all the wonderful letters (see below for a couple of portraits from John and Mariam). And a big thanks to the rest of the Yale Roadrunners. You were a great way to welcome me back to Texas!


Two Schools in China Spring!

I’m back in Texas and traveled to a slightly closer location in China Spring where I visited two schools and hundreds of kids! My first stop was at China Spring Elementary and as you can see, we really filled the gym. Hopefully my eardrums will recover from the literal roar of their dragon roars!
After the first show, I zipped over to China Spring Intermediate where I had access to the big screen, which is good because I performed for almost 700 enthusiastic students in that go. There were a couple of technical glitches but that didn’t distract the kids because they had some great questions near the end of my show!
After lunch (thanks to Mrs. Devening and the PTA), I was back at China Spring Elementary for one last show. I was surprised to see an even bigger audience the second time around. Now I know why they had to have two different shows!
Thanks to fellow author, Mrs. Devening and both schools’ PTAs for having me out. Thanks to all the coaches for the uses of their gyms (and for helping me set up). And the biggest thanks of all goes to all the China Spring Cougars (both elementary and intermediate)! I hope everyone had as good a time as I did. And the next time you see Mrs. Devening or someone from the PTA, be sure to thank them for caring about your art and music exposure. I think both are vitally important to your education. I know they were to me!


Last Day in Omaha!

The last day of this Omaha trip had me at the Crestridge Magnet Center! I was met by another cool banner and I performed my last three Omaha shows. It was a tight fit, but we crammed each group into the school library for some dragon-roarin’ fun!
For lunch, I had the honor of having eating with a few stars of the summer reading program. These kids kept the reading going all summer and they had great questions about books, writing, and superheroes to prove it! It was great meeting you: Afdal, Angeli, Braxtyn, Brayau, Briseyda, Dominic, Elizabeth, Enoc, Eva, Gaby, Gree, Hannah, Ibraheem, Kaleb & Kaleb, Lucy, Marcos, Nehal, Nmarge, Noe, Quin, and Sophie!
Thanks to Mrs. Prisbell-Hultman for having me out. Thanks to all the summer readers for the lunch company—I wish I could’ve had lunch with all of you. And the biggest thanks goes to all great students at Crestridge. You were the perfect finale for my week of Nebraska fun! In fact, I’d like to thank Omaha Public Schools for flying me up letting me visit so many cool school. I enjoyed spending the week with your diverse, gifted, and enthusiastic students!


Day Four in Omaha!

My penultimate (new vocabulary word) stop in Omaha had me spending the entire day at Jefferson Elementary—home of the Jaguars! I was welcomed with a couple of great banners and even saw some custom LEGO drawings from many of the kids. I especially enjoyed visiting Mrs. Anderson’s Candyland-themed library.
Look who I found!
I had a great time performing for three enthusiastic crowds and meeting everyone in the hallways and cafeteria. All the Jaguars were familiar with my LEGO books in part due to the great read-along-videos Mrs. Anderson found on Youtube. Check out one of them below!

Thanks to Mrs. Anderson for having me out. Thanks to Mrs. Torneten and Mr. Bush for helping me set up. Thanks to the 1st graders who made me the wonderful thank you card (complete with LEGO figures). And a big thanks to each and every Jefferson Jaguar in the school. You were extremely welcoming and I hope you enjoyed my visit!



Third day in Omaha!

Today I visited two more great Omaha schools, beginning with Indian Hill Elementary—home of the Bears! Along with my two morning presentations, I signed a bunch of books for the school library, and was fortunate enough to have lunch with several outstanding 5th graders. They got the chance to ask more questions about writing, special effects, and just why I have so many donkeys. It was great to meet you: Alex, Daniel, Edwin, Eric, Jesus, Jija, Julie, Maricela, Naquiria, Oumaima, Samuel, Traonna!
Yes, a silly one, of course…
After lunch, I found my way to Franklin Elementary—home of the Eagles, yet again! I had a little trouble finding the place since the school was in an unusual location. While their school is being renovated, Franklin has temporary classes set up in a large warehouse. But that didn’t stop them from having a visiting author! I just hope we weren’t too loud for their temporary open concept school.
Thanks to Mrs. Reilly, Mrs. Hoarty, and Mrs. Beasley for having me out. And a big thanks goes out to all the Indian Hill Bears and the Franklin Eagles! I hope the Bears enjoy checking out my books from the library and I hope the Eagles can keep the giraffe noises quiet until their school is finished. But if anyone gives you trouble this week, just blame the noise on your friendly, neighborhood visiting author!
UPDATE: I want to thank Mrs. Renfro’s class for all the wonderful thank you cards they mailed to me. It was very thoughtful and full of very cool art! Turns out there are some talented illustrators at Franklin Elementary!


Day Two in Omaha!

My second day in Omaha had me at Springville Elementary—home of the Eagles (that’s right, more eagles—I felt right at home). I spent the morning with the talented Springville students. I knew they were talented going in because, before I arrived, I received an email full of their cool book ideas—visualized! I can’t post them all, but here’s a sample:
After two shows, I got a lunch to go and was almost out the door. But before I left, I received a stack of hand-crafted thank you cards from Mrs. McCormick’s 5th grade class. Very nice! And I noticed a familiar Garfield illustration; it matched the welcome drawing I received earlier that morning. Thanks, Tamara, Kaidy, and Aiyana!
After lunch, I spent the afternoon at Conestoga Elementary—home of the Pioneers! I was greeted with more art as I performed in a gym covered in cool frontier murals. But I was especially thrilled when I found out just how many of the kids wanted to be authors AND screenwriters. I hope you enjoyed my screenwriting segment and don’t forget to keep reading. Like I said, that’s the easiest thing to do to help you become better writers!
Thanks to Mrs. Langan and Mrs. Buffington for having me out. Thanks to Blaine for directions. Thanks for the warm welcome from Mrs. Loberg’s class. Thanks to Mr. Macaitis and Mr. Vobejea for the technical support. And a big thanks to all the Conestoga Pioneers and the Springville Eagles! I enjoyed spending my day with so many young authors and illustrators!


Back in Nebraska!

I’m back in Nebraska for a seven-school, five-day whirlwind…beginning with Edison Elementary in Omaha—home of the college bound Eagles! I had a great time today and was welcomed with a banner featuring a surplus of hats (someone found out about my hat-collecting issue).
I had three fun shows and signed bunches of books for the school library. I also signed books for the winners of the Michael Anthony Steele trivia contest (who knew that was a thing). Before my arrival, trivia questions about yours truly were read during the morning announcements. The entire school played and the correct answers were put into a drawing for free books. The winners were Gary, Jaeda, Khloe, Markell, and Naydu. Congratulations and and I hope you enjoy my books!
Thanks to Mrs. Childers and Mrs. Fullenkamp for having me out. Thanks to Mrs. Glniffke-Leak and the PTA for lunch and for the book donations. Thanks to everyone who took pictures for me. And the biggest thanks goes to all the Edison Eagles themselves. Being an Eagle Scout, I have a fondness for eagles and I can tell by your thoughtful questions, polite behavior, and ear-ripping dragon roars that you’re going to soar high!