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Swimming in Deepwater

Today I spent the day (and evening) at Deepwater Elementary in Pasadena, TX! I first performed three shows for their enthusiastic 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders and met many young readers and writers as I signed books for both the students AND the school library!

That evening, I was honored to perform at Deepwater’s literacy night where the theme was books that were turned into movies. I signed some more books, posed for more photos, and had a fun time all around.

I enjoyed meeting many parents and gave them a special treat when I had the kids help me perform my song at the end of my presentation. The phones were really out and recording then!

Thanks to Mrs. Tabuena for inviting me and for all the hard work. Thanks to Mrs. Staley for the wonderful tech support. Thanks to Mrs. Cabaniss for the generous gift basket. And the biggest thanks of all goes to the great students of Deepwater Elementary! I hope you enjoyed literacy night and I hope you enjoy reading my books!


Brock Rocks!

I enjoyed a return visit to Brock Elementary in Burleson, TX! It was exciting to see the Tigers again and meet many new ones!

Just like my last visit, many of the students and teachers were dressed as his or her favorite literary character! That’s always fun to see! I’m the one in the middle…I came as the author.

I also got to floss dance with all of the 3rd graders for a special scavenger hunt. That was a first!

Thanks to Mrs. Bookwalter for inviting me back and for the great lunch. Thanks to Mrs. Severns for all the help. And thanks to all the talented Brock Tigers! It was fun revisiting your wonderful school!


Back in Denton!


Today I spent the entire day with the great young readers and writers at McNair Elementary, in Denton, TX!

I gave three presentations, signed some books for the library, AND gave a comic book workshop for the entire 4th grade!

Thanks Mrs. Heidrich for inviting me out and for lunch. Thanks to Mrs. Brushingham for all your help. Great seeing Landen again (whom I first met when I visited his old school, Wakefield Elementary). And the biggest thanks of all goes to all the great kids at McNair Elementary. I expect to read some cool comics from you someday (I’m looking at you, 4th grade)!



Two Schools in Pasadena!


After a brief hiatus, I hit the road again, traveling all the way down to Pasadena, TX. And my first day back had me at two schools in one day! In the morning, I swung by Gardens Elementary–home of the Gators! I had two big shows in front of two enthusiastic groups of Gators!

After lunch, I headed over to meet more great kids at South Shaver Elementary!

There, I performed two shows in their library with the 2nd and 3rd graders seated in their cool mini amphitheater. Just as in the morning, both grades of South Shaver students were wonderful crowds!

Thanks to Mrs. Betancourt and Mrs. Aguilar for inviting me out. And a big thanks to all the great kids at Gardens and South Shaver! You made my first day back fun and a breeze!




Hug Your School Nurse!


Last week, I got to meet the wonderful students at Santos Livas Elementary in Alamo, TX! I performed two shows and let me just say, you Santos Livas students were two of the best audiences I’ve had in a while!

I signed a bunch of books and even received a wonderful gift basket at the end of my last show! Thanks so much and I hope you enjoy your books!

Unfortunately, I didn’t feel well during my final show, and what do you do when you don’t feel well at school? You go to the nurse’s office! Well, that’s what I did and guess what, kids? Your nurse, Ms. Ramos, saved my life. She really did! So, the next time you see her, go up and give her a great big hug for me!

Thanks to all the fun Santos Livas Students for being such a great audience. Thanks to Mrs. Rios for her help and the generous gift basket. Thanks to all of the PSJA ISD staff who asked about me and shared their concerns. Thanks to Mrs. Galvan for inviting me and for going above and beyond, staying by my side in the hospital until my family arrived. And the biggest thanks of all goes to Jessica Ramos for giving me the opportunity to visit more schools in the future, and hopefully someday soon, return to Santos Livas! You are the best nurse a school could have!


Two Schools in the Valley


I had an exciting day (and night) in the Rio Grande Valley where I first visited Yturria Elementary in Brownsville, TX. I had fun spending the morning with the Yturria Rangers! Everyone had great questions with many of them being well thought-out and written down ahead of time.

How about a game of Where’s the Author?

After I signed a ton of books, I had the pleasure of having lunch with the Reading Rangers Book Club. It was wonderful meeting all of you!


Thanks to Maria for the cool friendship bracelet (see my wrist below). Thanks to Mrs. Cortez for the fabulous introduction, to Mrs. Torres with all the book-wrangling, and to Mrs. Longoria for the generous gift basket and all the hard work preparing everything on such short notice. And a big thanks to all the Rangers for an exciting beginning to my trip back to the Valley!

After lunch I traveled to Victoria Heights Elementary, home of the Mighty Tigers!

After my single afternoon show (where I got to move down the aisle this time, up close and personal), I signed some more books (even a few for my own elementary school, Russell), I received yet another generous gift basket, and got to pose with my many welcome banners!



Thanks to Mr. Martinez for the great introduction, Mrs. Ara for the bookmarks and all your help, and to Mrs. Vital for having me out and for all of your wonderful preparation; I wouldn’t have known it was your first author visit if you hadn’t told me. And a big thanks to all the Tigers themselves. You made for an exciting afternoon!

But the day wasn’t over yet! Later that night, I was honored to be the first keynote speaker for BISD‘s Fall Literacy Conference!

Even though this was my first time presenting to all grown-ups, I had a great time sharing stories from my time at Russell Elementary, as well as the many things I’ve learned during my ten years of school visits. Thanks to everyone for being so welcoming letting me spend the day in BISD!



First Day of School!


My first day back in school was in not one, but two schools sharing the day! This morning, I hung out with the fun students of Nickerson Elementary in, where else but Nickerson, Kansas!

We had two exciting shows in the gym and then I signed some books for the school library AND three lucky winners! I don’t know who you are yet, but congratulations! I hope you enjoy my books!

After lunch with some of the faculty, I zipped over to South Hutchinson Elementary in, none other than South Hutchinson, Kansas! I signed some books for their library and three more future prize winners. Then two more rip-roaring shows in their gym!

I had a great time at both schools but was particularly pleased to sign a book for Marshal (with one L, as he’ll tell you) and four books for Hardy Boys mega-fan, Landry. I hope you enjoy your books, guys!

Thanks to Mrs. Hawver for inviting me out and for all the help! And a big thanks to the young readers and writers at Nickerson and South Hutchinson. It was an amazing way to start off the new school year—two schools in one day!



Monkeys AND Pirates???


Out next month is my brand new series: Nearly Fearless Monkey Pirates!
Four books in all and illustrated by Pauline Reeves, these early readers are chocked full of zany, seafaring monkey madness!
They include:
Hunt for the Octo-Shark
Attack of the Zombie Mermaids
Escape from Haunted Treasure Island
Battle of the Pirate Bands
So if you like monkeys or pirates or (better yet) both, I think you’ll enjoy…


Last Visit…For Now!


My last author visit of the school year was split between two great schools in Gainesville, TX. In the morning, I was greeted with the smiling faces of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders of Chalmers Elementary! We had great fun and I was thrilled with all the great writing questions.

After lunch, I made my way to Edison Elementary and met the Kinder and First Graders. They were especially energetic (only five days left of school, you know), and rattled the school walls with those dragon roars!

I enjoyed meeting everyone but I especially enjoyed getting to chat with Jeremiah who is a young writer and, turns out, can make some of the most realistic animal sounds I’ve heard. Keep up the good work, man!

Thanks to Mrs. Lawson for having me out and to Mrs. Burgess for all the help. And a big thanks to all the Chalmers and Edison students for helping me end the year on a high note. Now, it’s back to writing so I can show you all some cool new stuff next year!



Lewis Elementary – Day Two!


During my second day at Lewis Elementary I had a wonderful time with the other half of the school—the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders!

I met a bunch of young writers, answered some great questions, and signed some more books, including a healthy stack for the school library!

Thanks again to Mrs. Eversole for inviting me out, the great lunch conversations, and the superb local shopping recommendations! But the biggest thanks of all goes to all the great kids at Lewis Elementary! I hope you enjoy my books in your library and I hope to read some of your books someday!