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Archive for the 'Author Visits' Category


Friday with Frogs!

My last day in Victoria, TX had me at O’Connor Elementary—home of the Frogs! I enjoyed meeting everyone and checking out all of the school’s giant aquariums—very relaxing. And since I was still knee-deep in the Dr. Seuss celebration, I enjoyed seeing more cool Dr. Seuss characters! I think I even saw the Grinch lurking around somewhere.

I performed two shows and even had the rare chance to pose with all the Frogs themselves!


Thanks to Mrs. Sanchez for having me out and for lunch. And thanks to all the O’Connor frogs for the perfect end of a fun week in Victoria ISD! I hope you all get a chance to hop into one of the books I signed for your school library!



Oh, My Stars & Gators!


For my second day in Victoria, TX, I began at Aloe Elementary—home of the Aloe Gators! Not only did my visit fall on Read Across America Day (AKA Dr. Seuss’s birthday), but it was also “crazy hat day” at Aloe; so I fit right in!

There was a cool welcome display (signed by all the Aloe Gators themselves), and a bunch of fun hats to view during both of my presentations. I had a fun-filled morning!
Below is some crazy hat goodness!


After signing a bunch of books, I said, “see you later, Aloe Gators!” (yeah, had to say it) and then zipped over to Hopkins Elementary—home of the shining Stars! There was a huge welcome banner on the front window and I spotted many Dr. Suess characters roaming the halls. Not only that, I had lunch with One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, and Blue Fish (AKA Mrs. Vogt, Mrs. Young, Mrs. Drham, and Mrs. Treviño)!

I signed a bunch of books for the students (thanks for the Mardi Gras beads, Benjamin) and then performed two shows in front of the big screen where I threw out a fish of my own. See below, but note: that fish has yet to be caught on camera.

Thanks to Mrs. Beck and Mrs. Vogt for having me out. Thanks to Mrs. Beck for the generous gift bag. Thanks to Mrs. Vogt for lunch and the snacks. Thanks to Mrs. Thigpen and Mrs. Treviño for help setting up. And the biggest thanks of all goes to Hopkins Stars and the Aloe Gators. Remember the words of Dr. Seuss… “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”




Soaring with Eagles & Dragons!


In 2015 I enjoyed a trip to Victoria, TX to visit Field Elementary. Only two years later I came back to enjoy a short tour of Victoria ISD beginning with Smith Elementary—home of the Eagles! I performed two morning shows in the gym and met a school full of young writers! It was a warm day but the gym was cooled off by the biggest ceiling fan I had ever seen (forgot to get a picture). Needless to say, the Eagles weren’t as impressed with the special effects wind machine I feature during my show.

After I signed a bunch of Eagles’ books (I hope you enjoy them, everyone), I had a nice Mexican meal with Mrs. Lara, and then it was off to DeLeon Elementary—home of the Dragons!

No mega-fan here but with all the doors open, it was almost like performing outside—a first for me! The Dragons were welcoming and had the dragon roar down to an art (of course). I had to cover my ears for the last one!

Thanks to Mrs. Lara and Mrs. Ahrens for having me out. Thanks to Mrs. Bagnall, Coach Armstrong, and Coach Woz for helping with the setup. Thanks to James for the escort to the 1st grade building. Thanks to young filmmaker Ean for sharing some of his work. Great job, Ean. Very impressive! And the biggest thanks of all goes to the Eagles and Dragons themselves. Remember those four words and you’re bound to soar high!




Over to Houston


I felt very welcomed as soon as I pulled up to Weber Elementary because my name was flashing on their big electronic marque! After passing another welcome banner inside and then heading into the gym, I gave two big shows to two big crowds (I think they might have heard us all the way back at my last school in Elgin). The Weber All-Stars certainly showed me how they got that name!

After a quick pose with Mrs. Henry’s 4th grade class (pleasure to meet all of you), I signed a bunch of books for the school library AND for many students and teachers themselves!

Thanks to Mrs. Baccaro for having me out. Thanks to Mr. Santana and Mrs. Lamont for helping me set up. And a big thanks to all the Weber All-Stars. Be sure to check out some of my books in the library and then let me know what you think!



Back in Texas!


Today I visited Elgin Elementary–home of the Wildcats–in Elgin, TX! I performed three shows for all the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. I signed a few books for the library. I answered several prewritten questions from some of the students. And I even posed for some class pictures with the 3rd graders!

The highlight was when I ate lunch with the 3rd grade UIL Storytelling group and some of the 4th grade Oral Reading group. I learned all about their competitions and even threw in some public speaking tips where I could. It was fun chatting with you: Adriana, Antonyo, Bianca, Brooklyn, Cayli, Madison, Michael, and Sophia!


Thanks to Mrs. Rawson for inviting me and pulling everything together amid a power loss, departing field trip, and fire drill! Thanks to Mrs. Willey for letting me meet your group (good luck, everyone!). And a big thanks to all the Elgin Wildcats. You gave me a Texas-sized welcome back to the state!



Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch


My final day in this short Colorado trip had me in Littleton at Governor’s Ranch Elementary—home of the Raccoons! I was greeted with welcome banners, a welcome on the school kiosk, and cool LEGO minifig pictures plastered up and down the hallways in honor of my LEGO City books. It was an overwhelming welcome!


I performed two shows for the entire school and was pleasantly surprised when Mrs. Fredrick (from Hawaii) welcomed me further by giving me a special lei…full of candy. What a nice surprise!

Thanks to Mrs. Higgins for having me out and for the gift card (very generous). Thanks to Mrs. Brinkman for the technical support. Thanks again to Mrs. Fredrick for the Hawaiian candy lei. And thanks to all the rockin’ Raccoons for making today a fun end to my latest Colorado visit!



A Day with the Knights


Today, I enjoyed my second day in Colorado at DeVinny Elementary—home of the noble Knights! They were jam-packed into the library but I got to see the entire school in four fun shows!

During lunch, I signed a bunch of books for students as well as many for the library itself. I hope all the Knights get to check out my books. Thanks to Mrs. Wagner there are many to choose from!

I had to congratulate James on his cool dragon sculpture. Yes, that’s a dryer vent—extremely creative!

Thanks to Mrs. Wagner for having me out. Thanks to Mrs. Karrington for all her help. Thanks to Mrs. Peachey, Mrs. Snow, and Mrs. Robinson’s classes for all the great questions they wrote to me. And the biggest thanks to all the DeVinny Knights! I hope you had as much fun as I did and you enjoy my books in your library!



Fun Day at Fairmount!


Today I began a new Colorado tour in lovely Golden, Colorado–at Fairmount Elementary, home of the Firebirds! I arrived to see a cool welcome banner from the kids as well as a display showing many factoids about my life. Nice preparation!

I gave four presentations today and Mrs. Johnson gave out my bookmarks after every show. I expect some Firebirds will be firing questions at me through my website!

Between shows, I spent time signing copies of many books brought in by the students themselves. There were some of my earliest works in there, too. I hope everyone enjoys reading them!

For lunch, I enjoyed a pizza party with 14 students (2 from each grade) who had their names chosen in a drawing. We enjoyed a detailed discussion and I even got some questions I’ve never had before! Nice meeting you: Ashleigh, Cailyn, Charles, Ethan C., Ethan O., Ian, Jack, Jayden, Julia, Lucas, Nathan, Sebastian, Sterling, and Violet!

Thanks to Mrs. Johnson for having me out. Thanks to her again and to Ms. Suzie for the excellent student preparation and displays–way to go! Thanks to all of my lunch buddies for the enjoyable company and insightful questions. And a big thanks to ALL of the Fairmount Firebirds for getting my latest Colorado visit off to a roaring start!



Friday at Fredonia!


My week-long visit of Nacogdoches ISD ended at Fredonia Elementary! I gave two performances and the Fredonia students were just like all the other kids I met all week: enthusiastic, courteous, and loaded with great questions!

After my last show, I met with some other students and had another book-signing. Great to meet you, everyone. I hope you enjoy my book!

Thanks to Mrs. Rameriz and Mrs. Ward for having me out (and for the wonderful gift bag). After driving home, I had a Fredonia email and Facebook message waiting for me. So thanks for writing, Abryee & Michael! And a big thanks to all the great kids at Fredonia Elementary! You were quite the grand finale for a fun week in Nacogdoches, Texas!

In fact, another thanks to ALL the students I met in Nacogdoches ISD. I hope you writers keep writing…you readers keep reading…and you ALL remember the FOUR WORDS!




Some Fine Art at TJR!


Today at Thomas J. Rusk Academy of Fine Arts (TJR for short), I was greeted with fine art indeed. The entire stage was covered with banners and posters welcoming me and giving out some encouraging phrases–and not only my own! There was so much art, I don’t have room to post it all! There was even a list of questions for me (which they all remembered to ask) including one I’ve never gotten before about my favorite font. Good one, Maren!


Here with one of TJR’s young artists. I got to sign Elia’s wonderful drawing of me. Like I told her, she’s very talented and has a keen eye for great subject matter!

After three shows for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders, I signed a bunch of books (and some more of their talented artwork), I had lunch, and then I met with some of the book club kids for even more questions. They had been thinking of them a long time before I arrived and it showed.

I even got a look at Zolan’s graphic novels. He’s very talented and he gave me an autographed copy of one of his drawings. Very cool!

Thanks to Mrs. Colgan for having me out. Thanks to Kayla for the welcome note. Thanks again to Maren for the great question (I can’t wait to see your books in bookstores). Thanks to Zolan for the drawing (I’m ready to see your comic books in bookstores, too). Thanks Elia, and all the other young artists who created such welcoming artwork. And a big thanks to all the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders at TJR. You were more than welcoming with all of your fine art!