Saturday, December 8, 2007

Book Signing

Last night I had a wonderful experience at a book signing to promote Pirate School. The local Barnes & Noble is kind enough to consistently host my events, which include a chapter reading, illustration activity, discussion and book signing. It is great to be able to connect with the local kids to talk about books, art and the Pirate School characters!
I was a little afraid that not many kids would be able to show up for this particular signing due to the snow, but we actually got a pretty good turn out. This time, all of the children were girls, so I was able to let the kids be more involved. For instance, normally for the illustration demonstration, I choose the character that the kids will learn to draw, because if I let the kids choose, the boys will all want a boy character, and the girls will all want a girl character. This time, I let the children pick, which they enjoyed. As I expected, they wanted to draw Inna, who is the most "pretty." The activity was very engaging for all of us, and I was thrilled by the girls' participation. They actually discussed and commented on the drawing process while we were going through the demonstration! They were all very observant, and came up with interesting analogies for the shapes we were drawing!
For the chapter reading, I read from book 3, chapter 1 - which is very humorous and engaging even if one has not read the other books. The chapter ends at a "cliffhanger" in which the pirate kids head off to yet another rotten lesson with Rotten Tooth. After the chapter was over, the girls took turns guessing from looking at the cover what the lesson was going to be about. It was great to see their involvement and excitement.

That is my favorite part of the book signings - to see the kids get engaged. I am always surprised by the children's comments and observations. My favorite comment at a book signing actually came over this past summer during the question & answer portion of the presentation. A little girl, no older than 4, raised her hand and asked, "What is your web URL address?" All the adults laughed....I was half expecting the child to pull out a palm pilot and look it up on the spot! I guess that is a true sign of the age that we live in!