Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Hot Dog Man!

I had the pleasure of meeting this young cartoonist at a school visit yesterday. During the Q&A session, Malaki held up his book—Hot Dog Man—from the back of the room. After the presentation, he came up to show me the book. I was impressed, he worked hard on it! I told him he’d better come back to his school to give an author presentation after he got published. 

Later, his teacher asked if I would sign it. This always gives me pause—signing on a kid’s artwork. It’s their art, not mine. And as much as I loved having Jack Gantos visit my school when I was a kid, I wouldn’t have been too happy if he had written in the book I wrote. In this moment, I had an epiphany, I turned Malaki’s book over and wrote a blurb for it.

And the most powerful part of all this? This was the school’s first-ever school visit. The reading coach received a grant and wanted to do something to fire up the students, so she stuck her neck out and gave this new thing a try. I’m honored that I was that invite!

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