I only had a month to deliver the first six illustrations of my next book to Penguin, when I received an email from a librarian in Irving, Texas. She offered me an opportunity to present at 17 schools in a two week period. No way I could deliver the illustrations and go to Irving. But no way was I turning down the opportunity either. I accepted the invitation and took my paintings on the road with me — art supplies, lamps, chair, reference books. I converted my hotel room to an art studio. I worked on my illustrations about 4 hours each night after the presentations.
In between presentations on the first day, librarians at Britain, John, and Elliott served me a rocking’ pizza lunch prepared by iFratelli Pizza. Yum! Librarians know how to treat a guy.
On Thursday during a talk at the University of Dallas, I had a Rick Perry moment. I blanked out and totally lost my thoughts. Not really a highlight, more of a downer. This went on for about a minute or so. I closed my eyes and tried to get my thoughts back, but nothing. I started over. Nothing. Then I apologized and moved on to my slide presentation (Powerpoint failed). I continued the presentation but never really recovered. Junior students were great about it, though.
On Thursday, following my freak-out presentation, I headed off to Hanes Elementary. I entered the library to a huge applause. The kids clapped and cheered, which made me feel much better after my failed attempt at UD.
On Friday I met and got to hang out with Tina Berumen, the tweeting librarian. She inspires her students to read and tweet about the books they read. Don’t ya love librarians like this? She also took these great photos of me durning my presentation at her school.
During a creative problem solving, drawing exercise, one kid upstaged me by drawing better than I ever could!
A student at Lee Elementary slipped me this wonderful note. She even drew a cartoon of me.
When I returned home on Friday, I received a few fan emails from students, one who said: “You kinda look like Usher.”
My tour continues next week.