Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The River's Family Music Meltdown and Book Bash

I arrived at JFK Middle School thirty minutes before the scheduled start time and the parking lot was already half full. Parents and kids eagerly waited in their cars for the first band to take the stage at 10AM. The 3rd annual Meltdown was, by all measures, a huge success! An estimated two-gazillion people turned up to listen to hip kindie (kid-indie) music and visit with some fantastic authors.

I kicked the author track off with some goofing off on the drawing pad. Here I am with The River's morning show host, Monte Belmonte. Scott Fischer also made an appearance—we had a "squiggle-doodle-off".
Photo by Jeff Boggle of Out with the Kids
Kevin Markey, the author of the awesome SUPER SLUGGER series, entranced the kids with baseball gum and this incredible photo of Babe Ruth in a Red Sox uniform, which is autographed by Ruth's granddaughter!

Jef Czekaj didn't read, but rapped Hip and Hop Don't Stop. It tore the roof of the place. Here's a tiny glimpse:

Jeannie Birdsall talked about what landmarks around town inspired the Penderwicks sisters' hometown, the fictional Cameron, MA. She also read from the third book, The Penderwicks of Point Mouette, which won't be published until May! (Fans nearly fainted.)

Finally, Jon Scieszka took the stage! Mr. Scieszka gave a sidesplitting set that included readings from The Stinky Cheese Man, Knucklehead and a chapter from Spaceheadz, written entirely in hamster.

Here's Jon with Marika and Sophia, the dedicated booksellers from The Odyssey Bookshop, who were on hand to sell books to the Meltdown-going public.

Want to learn more about the killer bands that rocked the stage? Listen to the audio archive for Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child, The River's Saturday morning kids' show hosted by Bill Childs along with his kids, Ella and Liam. Bill brings in all the bands and I consider him to be the Dick Clark of cool current day kids' music. So bookmark his site and listen online frequently!

See you at Meltdown 2012!

Empire Book Festival

This Saturday I'll be headed to Albany, NY for the Empire Book Festival.

Here's my schedule:

11:45-12:30 - Fiction 2 Film
1:45-2:30  - Graphic Novels Unplugged

See you there!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Jeanne Birdsall on the radio

Listen to Mizz Birdsall talk all things Penderwicks, The National Book Award, and her appearance at this Saturday's Meltdown. Want a sneak-peak at Penderwicks #3, which doesn't come out until May? She'll be reading from the book at Meltdown at 1:40PM!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Music Meltdown & Book Bash THIS weekend

This Saturday is The River's Music Meltdown & Book Bash at JFK Middle School in Florence, MA. Leading up to the big day, radio host extraordinaire Monte Belmonte is chatting with this year's authors. 

Check out my radio interview with Monte here. We discuss this weekend's festivities, as well as the future of Lunch Lady, movie adaptations and the labor movement in Wisconsin.

And make sure you come by on Saturday. Gina and I have lined up a stellar group this year. Kevin Markey, Jef Czekaj, Jeanne Birdsall, and Jon Scieszka will all be taking the stage. Click here for the schedule.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sketchbook Saturday

After a long, intense New England winter, my wife and I decided to cash in some of our hotel points and head south for a warm weekend.

Monday, March 14, 2011

LL4 nominated for a Children's Choice Book Award

I am delighted to announce that Lunch Lady and the Summer Camp Shakedown has been nominated for a Children's Choice Book Award in the category of "Third Grade to Fourth Grade Book of the Year"! The Children's Choice Book Awards Program is the only national children's book awards where winning titles are selected by the young readers for whom they are written. It's an incredible honor to say the least!

Voting is now open at www.bookweekonline.com, so please encourage the kids in your life to vote! Educators and booksellers can also tally in their kids' votes and enter them into the website. The winners will be announced at a live Gala in in New York City on May 2nd, which coincidentally, I will also be hosting! I'm charged with introducing the presenters for the evening, which include such legends as Eloise illustrator Hilary Knight, fright-master R.L. Stine, National Ambassador of Young People's Literature Katherine Paterson and LeVar Burton, former host of Reading Rainbow! Wish me LUCK! If you're interested in attending the Gala, ticket information is here: www.bookweekonline.com/gala .

As host, I filmed a video announcing the nominees. If you're presenting the program to your classroom or library, the video is here: www.astorybeforebed.com/demo/ccba2011nominees .

Thank you so much for your continued support!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sketchbook Saturday

Ralph Macchio (the pug) patiently awaiting my OK to eat his treat. I hope that Ralph Macchio (the actor) is as disciplined on Dancing with the Stars next season.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Funny Kid Quote

I had a great time running workshops at the Colorado Academy. With the Kindergartners, I ran workshops on drawing emotions on a character's face. I ran through all the basics—happy, sad, scared, mad. . .

And then I asked for suggestions from the kids. "What other kind of face could we draw?" I asked.

A kid in the front raised his hand. "A poker face!"

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Like or Friend or Follow

For some time now, I have maintained a Facebook page where you can "friend" me. After speaking to some educators across the country who don't like to mix Facebook with any work contacts, I decided to start up a Facebook author page. So if you're concerned with me seeing your embarrassing high school hairdos and don't want to "friend" me, you can now "like" me here and still get all the latest news on my books.

Huh? Here's the simple version:

Friend me here.
Like me here.

Or if you're on Twitter, you can follow me here.

Rotary phones and carrier pigeons are also acceptable forms of communication.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Sketchbook Saturday

Last night I had the awesome opportunity to go on a ride-along with the Northampton Police Department. I'm currently working on the second draft for the first book in my PLATYPUS POLICE SQUAD chapter book series. As I imagined I would, I gained even more respect for the fine men and women who work tirelessly to keep our communities safe. I learned a lot of things that will most certainly make it into my books. 

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Denver event this Tuesday

I'll be swinging by the Tattered Cover Book Store on March 8th at 7PM.

See you there!

Tattered Cover Book Store

2526 East Colfax Avenue