Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple on the radios! (And at Meltdown! this Saturday in Northampton, MA!)

Visit Jane Yolen at her home, along with co-author and daughter, Heidi Stemple. And cheer them on this Saturday at The River's Family Music Meltdown and Book Bash! Listen to their interview here!

Where I went

Yesterday, I dropped my daughter off at preschool and then I travelled to Washington, Oregon, California, Nebraska, Arizona, Texas, Idaho, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Florida, Virginia, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Alabama, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Maine—at least that's what I can remember off the top of my head. And then when I was finished up with my book talks on the latest Lunch Lady book, I was home in time to tuck my daughter into bed.

I love living int he future.

Thank you to all who connected for the Virtual Book Talk for Lunch Lady and the Mutant Mathletes!

I'm not certain exactly how UStream's metrics work, but on average there were about 50 people signed in to watch each book talk. While I'm live, I can see who is signed in, but I'm not too sure how many people watched, but didn't sign in to chat. Most signed in from a classroom or library, however a few watched on their own. Averaging all of that out, there were about 40 sets of eyeballs behind each "live viewer". There is no way to know for certain, but this could mean that I spoke to about 14,000 young readers throughout the day. All from the comfort of my studio. I'm astounded that there is that much of an interest to watch me yap away about my books. But I can tell you with certainty—I'm incredibly grateful.

Here are a few pictures that I pulled from the Twitters and blogosphere.





Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mutant Mathletes, Marriage and Meltdowns

Ahead of this Saturday's Meltdown, I brought the whole family into the radio station with me to chat with Monte Belmonte, even my extremely shy wife.

You can listen in here!

Monday, March 26, 2012

LL7 events

I hope that you'll join me virtually on the day of Lunch Lady and the Mutant Mathlete's publication, but I also hope that you can stop by one of the below events and see me in person, too.

March 31, 10 am - 4 pm: Northampton, MA - Meltdown! The River's Family Music and Book Bash

April 12, 5 pm: Dallas, TX - Texas Rangers Hall of Fame Auditorium

April 21, 12 pm: Manchester, CT - Barnes & Noble Book Fair in support of First Book

April 22:  Boston, MA - Boston Comic Con, signing at the Friendly Neighborhood Comics booth

April 28: Albany, NY - Albany Children's Book Festival

April 30: Chicago, IL - International Reading Association convention, 11:30 - Children's Choice program, 2 pm - signing at Random House booth

April 30: Chicago, IL - Magic Tree Bookstore

May 1: Naperville, IL - Anderson's Bookshop

May 7: New York, NY - Hosting the Children's Choice Book Awards Gala

May 10, 4 pm: Haverford, PA - Children's Book World

May 12, Leesburg, VA - area public libraries

June 16: Arlington, MA: Fox Branch Library

June 23: Newburyport, MA - The Book Rack

June 24: Winchester, VA - The Shenandoah Literature Conference

July 12, 11 am: Lenox, MA - The Lenox Library

Always a good idea to check in with the venue and double check times.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Listen to Jeff Mack on the radio and come see him at Meltdown! on March 31st!

Our good pal Jeff Mack will be joining us for Meltdown! 2012 and we couldn't be more pumped. His new book, FROG AND FLY, is hysterical.

Listen to Jeff chat with Monte on the radios here and be sure to cheer him on at JFK Middle School on March 31st! A full schedule of the day's events can be found here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

LL7 Virtual Book talk on Tuesday, March 27th!

The time is almost here for the Mutant Mathletes! In just under a week, the latest Lunch Lady comic will be made available to the world! When Hector, Dee and Terrence join the Thompson Brook mathlete team, they have more than tough equations to contend with. Fortunately, our lady in yellow keeps close tabs on her kids and she's there to save the day when it needs saving!

I hope that you will all join me in my studio via on the day of the book's publication on March 27th. I'll be going live every hour on the hour from 10 a.m. EST to 3 p.m. EST. This time around, I'll also have a special evening edition at 7 p.m. for public libraries, book clubs and anyone else who may not be able to tune in during daytime hours.

Full information and tips on how to connect successfully with a group of students can be found on my website here:

I look forward to answering your questions and teaching you how to draw Lunch Lady and Betty! Also, as a special treat to those connecting, I'll be providing a link to exclusive behind-the-scenes content, which you can use with your students to learn about the revision process.

Want a copy of the latest Lunch Lady (or any of the previous books) autographed and personalized? Order them through my local bookshop here.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Reading Rockets

You can bring authors right into your classroom via the zillions of interviews available from Reading Rockets. They've recently posted an extensive interview with me. The interview is broken up into short clips, perfect for the young reader eager to learn more about how I wrote Lunch Lady and what I was like as a kid.

You can watch the videos on Reading Rockets' website here!

Or you can choose to peruse their YouTube channel here.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Watch the 2011 Children's Choice Book Awards Gala

Voting for the 2012 Children's Choice Book Awards will soon go live! I'm delighted to be returning as host for the gala on May 7th. (Which YOU can attend! Tickets are available here. Check out the list of presenters: Marc Brown, Jack Gantos, Mary Pope Osborne, SE Hinton! And best part - tickets benefit Every Child a Reader.)

What kind of evening will be in store? Well there is a fancy cocktail reception, delicious food and a dessert spread that will make you drool. But the highlight of the evening comes when the awards are handed out. And now you can watch last year's awards ceremony here!

Watch the full playlist here.

Get excited!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Friday - Of Wine and Words - a fundraiser for the Reading Connection

To all of my friends in the DC/Northern VA area who like supporting good causes and enjoy a swanky evening out: this Friday, I will serve as the Literacy Honoree at the Reading Connection's Of Wine and Words fundraiser. It will be a great way to sample fare from the area's top chefs, get a book signed and help a very worthy cause. Plus—there will be cocktail waitresses dressed as lunch ladies. I REPEAT: THERE WILL BE COCKTAIL WAITRESSES DRESSED AS LUNCH LADIES! 

What more do you need? See you there!

It all goes down at the Boeing Conference Center, 1200 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA. For more info and to purchase tickets, click here.

More info on The Reading Connection:

Since 1989, The Reading Connection has provided books and reading mentors to children of at-risk families in northern Virginia and Washington D.C. The need is great: Over 60% of low-income families have no children’s books in their homes. Experts say reading aloud is one of the best things we can do for kids' success; that children need to hear 1,000 stories read out loud before they can learn to read for themselves.
From the original Read-Aloud program providing books and reading mentors for kids in homeless shelters, The Reading Connection's programs have expanded to cover children in transitional and affordable housing.  We now address the literacy needs of parents and send books through the mail.  Our reach has grown to over 1,300 kids who receive 9,000 new books each year. 

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Sketchbook Saturday

Go figure - two kids keeps you incredibly busy. Between the chaos of a toddler, a baby and a book deadline, I haven't been able to sketch much. But I recently had a rare occurrence. . . I found myself at a coffee shop by myself. Sketching ensued.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Re-Seussification Project

Some weeks ago, Betsy Bird issued a challenge: re-illustrate Seuss in the style of another artist. My deadlines were piled high, but I couldn't resist. So I give you, "Lyle, Lyle Croc in the Hatodile".