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Fri
Sep
16

Back to school in Oklahoma!


 
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Today I drove historic Route 66 to see the 4th and 5th graders of Nichols Elementary, in Miami, Oklahoma! I was fortunate to perform in the Miami Public Library itself where all the kids were bussed in for three fun-filled shows. They were a bunch of great kids, and this day was a perfect way to start off the new school year!
 
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I enjoyed a group shot with Mrs. Herd’s class.
 
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Of course…the silly version.
 
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During our lunch break, Mrs. Beauchamp took me to Chapters bookstore for an impromptu photoshoot with her special pack rat. This rat has traveled all up and down Route 66 as part of the library’s contribution to Outside the Lines—a weeklong celebration demonstrating the creativity and innovation happening in libraries. I’m holding up his little book for him. See, he’s small so he likes little books…and Dr. Suess.
 
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Thanks to Mrs. Beauchamp for inviting me and setting up the tour at a local landmark, the Coleman Theater. It was a great place and my photography wouldn’t do it justice. You can check it out at: colemantheatre.org. And a big thanks to all the Nichols Elementary 4th and 5th graders. You were a great audience and I had a fun day on my first author visit of the school year!
 
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Tue
Jul
19

Afternoon in Irving!


 
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Today I was fortunate enough to spend the afternoon at the West Irving Public Library, in Irving, TX! I performed in front of an energetic crowd and I even got to meet each and every one of them after the show. I met them when they lined up to have their books autographed. That’s right, the library purchased one of my books for the attendees—LEGO City: Work This Farm! I think I signed around 120 books. What a cool library!
 
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I want to thank Corine Barberena for inviting me. But I especially want to thank all the kids and parents who came out to watch my presentation. It looked as if everyone enjoyed the show, but I hope you also enjoy your copy of my LEGO City book. It just may come in handy when the library hosts its upcoming “Build it with LEGOs” events!
 
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Wed
Jun
22

Short Trip to Alabama


 
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Today I enjoyed a fun day in Pell City, Alabama, where I was part of the Pell City Public Library’s summer reading program! In the morning, I gave a presentation at the civic center and signed a bunch of books for the visiting kids (and a couple of adults, too). After the show, I enjoyed meeting everyone and posing for pics. As you can see, I didn’t come to Alabama alone—people got to get a shot with me AND my chief of security, Virgil!
 
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That afternoon, I went to the library to give a writing workshop and sign some more books. I hope everyone enjoyed my writing tips and don’t forget to email me if you have any more questions.
 
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Thanks to Kelly Cardenas for inviting me and doing a wonderful job setting everything up. Thanks to Jordan, Amy, and Brennan for helping out. I had a good time talking comics with Brennan—best of luck with your own comic! And a big thanks to all the kids and families who came out to see me (some to both presentations). I was thrilled to return to Alabama and my very first visit to Pell City!
 
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Mon
May
9

Last Stop…Texas!


 
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This afternoon I enjoyed my last author visit of the school year (back in my own state) at Askew Elementary in Houston, TX. Home of the Askew All Stars! I don’t know if the kids were more excited about me being there or the fact that they didn’t have any more testing that day. Either way, everyone seemed to have a great time—including me!
 
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I performed two shows for two super-sized crowds in front of the big screen. For me, it was a perfect way to round out the school year!
 
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They also seemed to enjoy my alien impression!
 
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Thanks to Mrs. Polk for inviting me and to the Askew PTO for having me out. Thanks to Mr. Wooten for all the tech support and great introductions. And the biggest thanks of all goes to the Askew All Stars! I hope you have an exciting, restful, ambitious, and adventurous summer. And guess what? You can do all of those things by reading a book or twelve! Happy Summer!
 
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Tue
May
3

Last Stop in Nebraska


 
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Today I got to visit another two schools in one when I spent the morning with the Riverside Public Schools—both the Spalding and Cedar Rapids campuses! Not only did I enjoy two shows with a bunch of great kids from both schools, I even got a private tour of the older school building in Spalding. I was especially impressed by the gymnasium in the basement. How cool is that?
 
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After a tasty Riverside lunch (plus a quick wardrobe change), the last stop of my brief Nebraska tour was at Central Valley Elementary in Scotia, NE—home of the Cougars! Even though the two groups were larger and I was in the gym this time (this one wasn’t in the basement), I decided to go unplugged, as it were. Hey, if I blow my voice out now, I have the entire drive back to Texas to recover!
 
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Thanks to Mrs. Nordhues and Mrs. Shafer for inviting me. Thanks to Mr. Adams for the tech support. Thanks to all the teachers who were kind enough to take pictures. And the biggest thanks of all to the great kids at Riverside and Central Valley. All combined, you were the great way to end my first trip to Nebraska!
 
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No, I’m not about to sneeze; I’m rockin’ out!
 
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Mon
May
2

First Visit to Nebraska!


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For my first visit to Nebraska I spent time with two schools in one! I visited Shell Creek Elementary in Columbus, NE where kids from Platte Center Elementary (from Platte Center, NE) were bussed in to see my show.
 
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Another first for me was performing my show and then my writing workshop back-to-back for all the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th graders. Don’t worry; there was a short break in between (I think more for me than the kids). Everyone had insightful questions and first-rate writing prompts!
 
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After lunch, I presented to the Kinder, 1st, and 2nd graders! Another energetic audience, more sharp questions, and good times all around. I hope everyone enjoys my autographed bookmarks, and remember what I said, if you have any more questions just shoot me an email!
 
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Thanks to Mrs. Sempek for inviting me (again, so sorry you couldn’t be here for the day). Thanks to Mr. Schrunk and Mrs. Honold for all the help, kid wrangling, and the sweet gift bag! Thanks to Mr. Briggs for the tech support. And the biggest thanks of all to the fantastic students of both Shell Creek and Platte Center Elementary schools! I hope everyone enjoyed my shows, workshop, and my autographed bookmarks. I was thrilled you could be my very first students in all of Nebraska!
 

Thu
Apr
28

Back in Missouri!


 
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Four years ago, I was the special guest at the Lee’s Summit School District Young Author Conference. Today I was back in the district for the same thing but first…a visit to Trailridge Elementary in Lee’s Summit, MO—home of the Timberwolves!
 
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I had an exciting time during both of my presentations and enjoyed meeting Trailridge’s winning authors and illustrators from the 4th, 5th, and 6th grade. Congratulations Abbi, Ellie, Grant, Harper, Jayden, Kenzie, Miles, Nya, Shanielle, and Sophie!
 
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That evening, I returned for the conference to find the school decorated as a winter wonderland for the theme. After all the district winners and their families arrived (from all over Lee’s Summit’s eighteen elementary schools), I gave a brief performance and was fortunate to congratulate each and every winning author and illustrator. I even signed many of their published collections after the show. Congratulations, everyone!
 
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Thanks to Mrs. Shipman and Mrs. Brown for inviting me. Thanks to Mrs. Kevurn for lunch and all her help. Thanks to Violet and Danica for the Christmas book! Thanks to Mr. Barnes for a very cool Eagle Scout coin, “from one Eagle Scout to another.” Thanks to all the Trailridge staff members for their tons of hard work pulling off a smooth authors conference. And a big thanks to all the Trailridge Timberwolves and the rest of the winning authors and illustrators. I hope that I’ll be asking for your autographs someday!
 
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Thu
Apr
21

Day Two in Kentucky


 
Today I began the last day of my first Henderson, Kentucky visit at South Heights Elementary—home of the Dolphins! I performed in front of two gigantic enthusiastic crowds. The first session with the Kinder, 1st, and 2nd graders was loads of fun and they made some incredible animal noises at the end (as part of my song, at my coxing, mind you). The primary kids don’t just do that for no reason…as far as I know.
 
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We began the second session a little early so I had time to field extra questions from all the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. They had tons of questions and really kept me on my toes by asking me not one, not two, but three insightful questions I’ve never been asked before. A new record!
 
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After a brief lunch of some delicious Kentucky BBQ (thanks Mrs. Swanson and Mrs. Herron), we swung over to Cairo Elementary—home of the Owls! The entire school was decorated with a superhero theme. There were superhero art projects, life-size stand-ups, superhero I.D.s, and even a dark cityscape mural.
 
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But right off the bat, I got to meet the winners of an art contest where I was allowed to sign their piece. And now it’s going to be hung in the school library. Fantastic job, Avery and Brooklyn!
 
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After each of my shows at Cairo, all of the students wore Batman masks for a posed picture with me (I got one, too!). However, Instead of saying “cheese,” I made sure everyone used their best Christian Bale, over-the-top, gravelly voice to say, “I’m Batman.” Okay, that was mainly for my own amusement. Pretty funny having over a hundred kids doing that at the same time.
 
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Thanks to Mrs. Overton for having me out to South Heights. Thanks to Mrs. Whitson for having me over at Cairo. Thanks to Mr. Powers and Miss Jill for all the tech support. Thanks again to Mrs. Herron for driving me all over Henderson, taking pictures, and listening to my show eight times in a row. Another big thanks to Mrs. Swanson and Henderson County Schools for inviting me to all your great campuses. And a super-big thanks to all the South Heights Dolphins and Cairo Owls! You all helped make a memorable last day for my first trip to Kentucky!
 
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Wed
Apr
20

Day One in Kentucky


 
My first ever school visit in Kentucky was this morning at East Heights Elementary in Henderson, KY—home of the Hawks! I was welcomed by gigantic LEGO decorations as soon as I walked in the door. But that wasn’t all. Before each of my two presentations, I got a show!
 
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Each class performed a skit giving me clues for the game “Which Book Did They Read?”. I only got most of them right (what can I say, I’ve written over a hundred books and I forgot some of the titles). This was the first time I got a show and it was very entertaining!
 
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For lunch, Mrs. Herron and I zipped over to Niagara Elementary—home of the Wildcats—where we had lunch with the winners of the school-wide contest where students could draw, sculpt, and build art pieces inspired by my books. There were some creative works of art out there. Congratulations again and it was great having lunch with you: Adrianna, Allie, Alyssa, Blaze, Carter, Emma, Ethan, Lafe, Lilly, Maria, Marissa, Molly, Payton, Rayna, Sophie, Tucker, and Wyatt!
 
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After my two shows at Niagara, I got to tour some of the rest of the Wildcats’ art, including a creative LEGO collage project. Great job, everyone!
 
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Thanks to Mrs. Buley for having me out to East Heights and to Mrs. Rone for having me out at Niagara. Thanks to the East Heights front office staff for the cool LEGO hallway decoration. Thanks to Mrs. Herron for driving me and for taking all the great photos.Thanks to Mrs. Swanson for inviting me to the district and for dinner. And a big thanks to all the East Heights Hawks and Niagara Wildcats for making my first day in Kentucky an enjoyable one!
 
[UPDATE] I’d also like to thank the East Heights 2nd graders for all the creative thank you cards. What a wonderful surprise!
 
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Thu
Apr
7

Back in Colorado!


 
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Today I was back in the Jeffco school district to spend the day (and evening) at Thomson Elementary in Arvado, Colorado—home of the Thomson Tigers! I had a fun time with everyone during my presentations, and all the Tigers were enthusiastic audiences. But the day didn’t end there…
 
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That evening, I was fortunate enough to be a part of Thomson’s “I Can & I Will” Family Learning Night! There were many cool workshops and activities including a photo booth, a fire safety workshop, a structural engineer activity (which was way more fun than it sounds, actually), musical dominos, a drama workshop, and more. I even gave a writing workshop to several winners from a drawing that day.
 
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Thanks for coming to my workshop, Brittany, Chelsie, Dakota, Danika, Davan, Dayton, Emma, Emma, Ernie, Katie, Kera, Presley, Rylee, Savana, Sophia, Spirit, Taylor, and the few others who got out before I could get your name and picture.
 
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Thanks to Mrs. Pereira for inviting me. Thanks to Mr. Goodman for all the sound support and setup. Thanks to Mrs. Knicklelbein for all the wonderful help throughout the day. Thanks to Mrs. Baoman for taking pics that evening. And a big thanks to all the Thomson Tigers and Thomson Tiger parents who came out tonight. I hope everyone had as much fun at the school today as I did!
 
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