The Marvelous Thing That Came From A Spring made it on The Nerdy Book Club’s 2016 Best List for Non Fiction Picture books. You can see the impressive line up of other great non fiction HERE.
It also made Betsy Bird’s Fuse 8 list for best nonfiction of 2016 and can be seen HERE. It was great to see my illustrator friends Fiona Robinson, James Gulliver Hancock, and John Hendrix on the list, along with author Debbie Levy, who wrote the upcoming February release I illustrated entitled Soldier Song.
I spent the first weekend in November promoting The Marvelous Thing That Came From a Spring in the D.C. area.
Friday morning I visited Burnt Mills Elementary School and put on a presentation for the first grade students. The whole thing was set up through An Open Book Foundation, a nonprofit bringing authors to schools that have never had an author visit, and purchasing a book for each child. It was an honor to be included in their roster of authors, and I hope to work with them again on my next visit to D.C.
The students at Burnt Mills were mesmerized by the process video in my presentation, where they got to see my apartment, how I work and live, and how I create the dioramas in the book. The takeaway for the presentation, as well as the book, was the importance of having an idea, and no matter how quirky, an idea can become a reality through hard work and careful planning. After I read the book, I drew some of the students’ ideas on new uses for the Slinky on a pad of paper.
After the school visit, I had a joint book release at Hooray for Books with writer and teacher, Mary Quattlebaum. Mary taught me when I attended Vermont College of Fine Arts, so I was really happy to reconnect with her after not seeing her for over a year. Many of Mary’s students and friends attended the event to show their support so Mary dressed as a Cheetah for her new book Together Forever, and somehow, she coerced me into wrapping aluminum foil around my suspenders so I could go as a Slinky.
The D.C. trip ended with a panel discussion on how to break into publishing children’s books held at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library.