Sunday, March 31, 2013

What Do You Love About Independent Bookshops?

Few things in this world make me happier than visiting and supporting independent bookshops. I've lost track of the number of times I've used the  Indie Store Finder. Seriously.

I wanted to know what my book-loving friends thought of independent bookshops, so I asked them the following question: 

* I think Anderson's Bookshop is the heart of Naperville. The booksellers care about the community and its readers.  -Me 

*The employees are able to converse about books. -Donna Kouri 

*The people remember me and my reading life. -Valerie Stein 

*Love that independent bookshops are community centers where they want to find right books for you same as we do in the library. - Lynne Peredina 

*I love everything. The atmosphere, the rare finds, the customer service. Just great places to shop." -Jonathan Thornton

*They get lots of great authors and illustrators to come and talk and sign books.They go all out for author events. Yes, like covering everything with yarn when Mac and John came promoting Extra Yarn. -Kathy Ellen Davis

*They stock interesting titles that the chains won't take a chance on. New discoveries await with every visit. -Alison Hewett

* I like they are a local business in my community.I like that you can get to know them, and them you. - Allison Jackson

*I've been to Anderson's Bookshop 456 times in the past two years. The number of times I've had a negative experience? ZERO. -Me

*That they know what books are popular with kids & librarians, and they don't give you a blank stare when you ask for a book. - Terry Shay

*My local indie knows my name, where I work, what my readers like. They tip me off to new releases, author visits, hot book news. -Gregory

*That they are run by readers who know the books they sell, recognize quality, and deftly match readers to books. That they create a climate welcoming to usually unwelcome children and teenagers. -Heidi Rees

*I love the feeling of wanting to read that comes over me everytime I enter a real book store. Every cover says "pick me up." -Alison Hewett

*I like that you get a discount on your birthday and on theirs! I like that they are open on New Years Day & everything is 25% off" - Alison Jackson

*Indie=> store owners KNOW their books & customers. Perfect matches! Finding RIGHT book is more important than quick sale!" -Fran McVeigh

*Not being subjected to formulaic customer service responses or marketing material that presumes staff don't read & can't help.-Reid W

*I love the small coziness and that people there recognize me when I come in. I love the area of new books I can count on. -Kelly Mueller

*You get to know a community by visiting its independent bookshops. - Me 

*That they will consider ways to be connected with my classroom. - David Theune

* I love all the amazing authors they bring in and the sense of community. Always happy to support local shops!  I also love that each I step into has it's own character. They are all unique and sometimes quirky in their own way. -Jen Vincent

*That I can sell back my old books, then buy new ones for my classroom! - Shannon Houghton

* Friendly, personalized, knowledgeable staff - Nancy Kalush

* I like that the employees at my Indie bookstore know about books and can recommend them. -Donalyn Miller

*The coziness and smaller environment. Nothing in the world besides the focus right there. - Ian Coon

*I want to read inside indie stores--the 's feels homey and comfortable. It's the ideal reading spot. I can take the time to "speed date" many titles to find the right one & not feel judged. Indie bookstores understand bookworms. - Megan Van Deventer

*I love that my indie stocks a huge range of titles--not only whatever is new & hot, but also books that are timeless. - Tamara Jaimes

* I love independent bookshops because real readers help curate my selections. - Mary J. Johnson

*I love that they know my name, where I work, and know their books. I can trust their recommendations.  I also love that they are often finding ways to help authors visit my small school for free.- Brian Wyzlic

*Are you having a bad day? Visit an independent bookshop. It is the perfect cure. -Me

* I love that independent bookshops are knowledgeable about their books and get to know me as a reader. - Katherine Sokolowski

* I love how they use an index card to mark the last copy and know when it is time to order more. -Amy Duncan

*My indie bookstore feels like part of my family. They know and get books and they know me too." -Alyson Beecher

*Nothing smells better than an independent bookshop. -Me

*My indie hosts TeenBookCon and provides authors/books for school visits!   I love that my indie is knowledgable and passionate about YA and encouraging children/teens to read.Love ! - Jennifer Fountain

*Each independent bookshop is unique. - Donna Kouri

*It's easy to buy online then have book arrive and it doesn't fit collection etc. Real bookstores stop me making mistakes. - Alison Hewett

*They are usually family owned and passionate about getting every reader the right book. They support and care about community. -Lynne White

*I love how enthusiastic and knowledgeable they are about books! They have been so helpful to me as a new author--inviting me to storytimes and selling my book at school/community events. (So lucky to have so many awesome indies in Seattle area!) - Brianna Caplan Sayres

*I love that I can talk to people that work in an independent bookshop and they share the same passion for books. -Niki Barnes 

*Each one smells uniquely of paper and the owner's cologne. I love that. - Amy Gaskin

* i can't tell you how much i appreciate that Mysterious Galaxy Books supports local authors and brings community of book lovers together! -Cindy Pon

*The Bookery (building dates back to 1700's) is our indie in El Paso. It has a HUGE children's collection. Enough said! - Sandra Delgado 

* I never fail to get lost in my independent book store: lost in books, in conversation, or just wandering through the shelves. -Debbie Alvarez

*#FaceInABook has brought our community together through books and author events. Also--our public library is tucked away up on a hill. The Indie is on a popular street so even reluctant readers are drawn in. - Erin Dealey

*We love Kids and Prose because it stocks such great choices and staff is amazing. -Zoonbean Mom

*Rainbow Books has been behind the scenes of every literacy event in my town supporting authors, illustrators, and readers of all ages. University professors sometimes hold classes in their store to expose students to the best in kids' books. Rainbow Books feels like home. -Julee Murphy

*They know me, what I read, what I need to read. They bring authors to my school library and they have become my friends. - Melanie Scales

*As a former Indie owner, I am a huge supporter of our bookstores around the world. I have several hundred photos of my favorite big cities and small towns. Indies are places of happiness and discovery. Their bookmarks line my library shelves at home. Lewis Buzbee's book The Yellow Lighted Bookshop sums up so much of how I feel as a reader and a book lover. -Louise Borden

*I held my launch at my indie, Bryan Prince Bookseller  last summer and they were (and continue to be) so supportive and gracious. I was there just yesterday, ordering a book that comes out this week and I look forward to the phone call telling me to pop in because it arrived. The people are friendly and knowledge and know exactly who I am. The store is a pillar of my neighborhood and even though Bryan himself has retired, the store and its new owners (long time employees) carry on his legacy by being an integral part of the community in which I live. -Joanne Levy 

* I love indie bookstores. They have personality. They have a FEEL to them. That feeling is one of the reasons I love books. -Adam Lehrhapt 

*No matter where I am, when I enter an indie bookstore it's as if I'm home; all my senses come alive in anticipation. -Margie Myers-Culver 

*Here's hoping indie bookshops stay with us forever. I will always support my locals :)  - Meghan Marentette 

*I mentioned a few weeks ago how cool my indie store was because I could run into people like Marla Frazee and Lisa Yee. - Alyson Beecher 

*Teresa Rolfe Kravin believes in independent bookshops.

*Books sing sweeter in an Indie. -Ame Dyckman

Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Newbery Challenge: Number the Stars

Dear Mr. Sharp, 

Wow!!! Can you believe we made it to Number the Stars? I find it VERY hard to believe. We've read a lot of really BAD and really GOOD Newbery Medal-winning books. Number the Stars has a special place on the list entitled, "ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS EVER PUBLISHED." 

Your friend,

Mr. Schu 

Please visit Colby Sharp's blog to hear his thoughts. Also, if you'd like to read more about Loren Long's visit, please click here

"I was in my pajamas and he schlepped me in, holding my hand, and asked me to recite this poem, which I did, being an obedient child." - Lois Lowry 

Lois has not always been her first name. 

Lois Lowry presented at the 2009 National Book Festival. 

Travis Jonker designed the cover on the right. 

"During the same years that I was a child growing up
in a small Pennsylvania town — the years of World
War II — Annelise was a child growing up in

Borrow Number the Stars from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Author Sneed B. Collard, III

Sneed B. Collard's Pocket Babies: And Other Amazing Marsupials is one of the most popular books in my school library's 500s section. My kids are big fans of his books. Sneed dropped by Watch. Connect. Read to discuss his books, school visits, reading, and writing. I wrote the words in red, and he wrote the words in black. Thank you, Sneed!

My nonfiction books were a surprise! When I decided to become a writer, I thought I would travel a straight path to becoming a novelist—this, despite having just graduated with a degree in marine biology. It took a couple of years for me to think “Hm, maybe I should give science writing a try.” And, of course, that door swung open so quickly that I spent the next ten years or so focusing almost exclusively on nonfiction. It was time well-spent. Writing books such as Monteverde—Science and Scientists a Costa Rican Cloud Forest not only established me as an author, but allowed me to see the world and gave me a huge amount of material for later nonfiction and fiction books.

I research all the time! I am one of those people who are interested in almost everything. Writing offers me an opportunity to learn about all kinds of things from science to history, rodeo to coin collecting. One reason for my early writing success was my preference for going out and seeing things for myself. I use many library research tools, but what really gets my adrenaline pumping is meeting people for myself, observing what they do, and experiencing the world first-hand. This first-hand experience helps bring my writing to life—and, I think, resonates with readers.

Double Eagle and Cartwheel are my own fantasies come to life. What child doesn’t dream of finding hidden treasure? I know that I did—and still do! Double Eagle sprouted from an experience I had sneaking into Fort Gaines, Alabama with a friend back in 1973. I always wanted to incorporate that incident into a novel, but it took thirty years before I hit on the idea of having two boys discover a priceless gold coin inside a similar fort. To my surprise, the story attracted readers of all ages, and many of them clamored for a sequel. I steadfastly refused—until another irresistible idea landed in my lap, the story of the 1964-D Peace dollar.

Unlike the gold piece in Double Eagle, Cartwheel revolves around a coin that really did exist. In May, 1965, the Mint produced more than a quarter million new silver dollars, all dated 1964. When Congress found out, they were furious and ordered all the coins melted down. Rumors persist to this day, however, that some of the coins survived. The problem is that if you have one, it is illegal to own, so any sales have to be strictly on the QT. “Ah-ha!” I thought, when I learned the story. “I have got to reunite Mike and Kyle to look for one of these things.” I decided, though, to up the ante for the characters.
Cartwheel picks up two years after Double Eagle ends, when Kyle unexpectedly shows up on Mike’s doorstep in a souped-up ’57 Chevy Bel-Air with a big block engine. “I’m goin’ up to Birmingham to see my sister Annie,” Kyle tells Mike. “You want to come along?”

“Sure,” says Mike. What he doesn’t know is that Kyle isn’t going to see Annie. He’s going to rescue her from their abusive aunt and uncle. What follows is a cross-country flight from the law that lands Mike, Kyle, and Annie in Denver, Colorado. One of the trio’s big problems is money. To get somewhere safe, Kyle and Annie need to raise cash, and fast. Mike comes up with the idea of searching for a 1964-D Peace dollar. As far-fetched as the idea seems at first, the trio’s efforts eventually give them a solid lead on one of the priceless coins.
Of course people who have already read the story are now clamoring for a third book! It’s a nice problem to have.

My school presentations focus on the wonder of learning, literature, storytelling, and adventure. I keep about five presentations in active rotation, most geared toward specific age levels. In one grade 3-6 presentation, I take kids to the deep-sea floor in a submersible to learn about bioluminescent animals. Along the way, they learn how to do research and get writing ideas without using the internet. In another grade 4-adult talk, I follow my own writer’s journey, showing people how my own events and interests led to the books that I write. I also give the inside background on my most recent books such as Cartwheel and Hangman’s Gold. Other talks focus on tropical forests and reptiles. I frequently speak to all age levels from kindergarten up through college. Recently, I debuted a new teacher workshop, “Common Core Canines”, that focuses on using dog books to achieve Common Core standards.

I teach writing workshops to motivated youngsters and adults, grades 4 and up. In one-hour workshops, I tackle active voice and “show don’t tell”. In longer workshops, I pull out a variety of implements from my writer’s tool box.

The best thing about visiting schools is the kids. Whether I am in a country school in Wyoming or a large suburban school in Virginia, I am always delighted by the passion and enthusiasm children have for books, writing, and living. These visits continually renew my hope for the planet and my motivation for writing the next book.

Reading is the best thing you can do for your brain. Even reading a really awful book stimulates ideas and thought-processes that no video game or movie can duplicate. I credit the hundreds of books I read as a child with turning me into person I am today, and I can’t imagine being able to make sense of the world without the books I have under my belt. Of course, reading showers many other benefits on readers, from simple enjoyment to understanding life’s journey to, yes, being able to string two sentences together in a meaningful fashion.

Mr. Schu, you should have asked me about my YouTube channel and my current book projects. My son and I recently decided to become our own movie producers, and have started creating book trailers for my mystery-thrillers. The thing is, we’re locked in fierce competition. My son thinks his trailers are better than mine. I heartily disagree! Only the number of Likes and Views will tell the tale, so all you readers, watch the trailers and cast your votes!

We’ll continue to add trailers, especially for new projects as they come out. Currently, I’m working on two new mysteries, for instance, as well as Sneed B. Collard III’s Most Fun Book Ever About Insects, which should be out next year. Also be sure to like Bucking Horse Books on FaceBook and look up the websites and

I am giving away a copy of Double Eagle and a copy of Cartwheel

Rules for the Giveaway
1. It will run from 3/29 to 11:59 P.M. on 4/1.
2. You must be at least 13.
3. Please pay it forward. 

Borrow Sneed B. Collard's books from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Lauren Oliver Shares How a Book Is Made

Over the next three or four weeks, my fourth- and fifth-grade students will watch author Lauren Oliver's video series that shows how The Spindlers was created from start to finish. I'll probably play an episode at the start of each library period. 

I hope you'll find ways to use these videos in your library or classroom. Happy watching! 

Episode 1: Developing the Idea 

Episode 2: Writing the Story 

Episode 3: Editing the Book 

Episode 4: Creating the Art 

Episode 5: Proofing the Story 

Episode 6: Printing the Book 

Episode 7: Reading the Book 

Borrow The Spindlers from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Videos of the Day: Patricia Polacco Takes Us Inside Her Home

The following conversation really occurred in my library last week. 

I spot a third grader checking out Patricia Polacco's Thank You, Mr. Falker and The Junkyard Wonders

Me: Are you familiar with Patrica Polacco's books? 

Third Grader: No 

Me: You're about to read two of my all-time favorite books. I cannot read either story without crying. They both remind me to be a patient and understanding teacher-librarian. Will you let me know what you think of them? 

Third Grader: Sure. I'll let you know after spring break. 

Me: Thank you!  Please see me before you head back to class.

Third Grader: OK 

Three minutes later...

Me: Come with me. (We walk to the nearest tissue box. I place one tissue inside each book.) Happy reading! 

I'm going to share these two video clips with her when she returns the books. 

Patricia Polacco is surrounded by images and toys that inspire her. 

Take a tour of  Patricia's bedroom and parlor. 

Borrow Thank You, Mr. Falker and The Junkyard Wonders from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Poem Inspired by Love That Dog

Sharon Creech's Love That Dog inspired  Caroline Starr Rose to write the following poem. 

Words count.
All words,
and giving voice to those children
who don’t yet know their power
is to open the world. 

Mrs. Stretchberry
knows how to woo her student Jack,
understands how to draw from him
phrases that play with shapes and sounds,
stanzas that speak to the pain
of loss
and love
and memory.

During a school year
where poetry is a regular part of things,
words work deep,
as Jack does
from a boy who thinks
writing poetry is to
to one who finds the courage --
through the structure, voice,
and style of others --
to speak his own.

“Was it like me
when I didn’t think
my words
Jack asks Mrs. Stretchberry,
and I am firm in the knowing that
teachers reach into lives,
authors speak directly to their readers,
words make impact,
demand response
every time
they’re heard.

Poetry is
as sweet as
a dog lolling in the afternoon sun,
as painful as
“that straggly furry
hit by a car,
sprawled on the road
“with his legs bent funny,”
taken in a moment from the boy
who’d picked him from the shelter
“with his paws curled
around the wire
and his long red tongue
hanging out
and his big black eyes
looking a little sad
and his long tail
as if he were saying
Me me me! Choose me!

It is in the writing down
that loss becomes more than sorrow:
It becomes a touchstone for all who encounter
the memory,
even when it’s not their own.
Poetry is
a balm,
a battle cry,
a picture that says
this is what it means to see.

Some like to debate
the merit of the verse novel:
Is it a collection of poems tied together through story?
A hybrid somehow lesser than true poetry?
Something from English class -- stories spoken by a blind man?
A tale stripped bare, chopped to pieces for effect?

And yet,
wherever the definition falls,
there is no denying verse novels
open the way of rhythm,
expose through brevity
true abundance,
give readers room to live in the midst of language
rich and intricate,
beautiful and barren.
Sharon Creech is able to tell a complete story
with a handful of poems,
and in doing so
accents Jack’s world with authenticity
that would have been lost in a jumble of prose.

Poetry gives
Jack the room to experiment with writing
and pushes him beyond,
allows him to dream
an Important Poet cares --
lets that dream come true
when Walter Dean Myers,
true poet
who inspires Jack’s bravest work,
walks into Jack’s fictitious world
and takes notice of the boy who
Loves That Dog.

Thank you, Caroline, for sharing this beautiful poem with us. 

The Sharp-Schu Book Club is discussing Caroline Starr Rose's May B. and Sharon Creech's Love That Dog on April 24. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Women's History Month Book Giveaway

Before you head over to Kidlit Celebrates Women's History Month to read my interview with author Shana Corey, please enter the Women's History Month book giveaway. 

Rules for the Giveaway 

1. It will run from 3/24 to 11:59 P.M. on 3/26. 

2. You must be at least 13. 

3. Please pay it forward. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Newbery Challenge: Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices

Happy Saturday, Mr. Sharp! 

A Message from Travis 

I am now convinced that I’ve spent more time browsing Flickr creative commons licensed photos than anyone. Top five at least. That’s how I come up with the Covering the Newbery covers, with occasional assists from Photoshop and Splashup, and always with the help ofPicMonkey. Today we close out the 80s with…

I refer to this video during today's video.  

Paul Fleischman talks about matchbox theaters. 

Borrow Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Author Sue Fliess

Please join me in welcoming author Sue Fliess to Watch. Connect. Read. Wow, I can hear people all around the world shouting, "WELCOME SUE!" Sue dropped by to finish my sentences about her books, book trailers, school visits, eBay, reading, and writing. I wrote the words in red, and she wrote the words in black. Thank you, Sue! :)

Tons of Trucks, A Dress for Me!, and Shoes for Me! are my three children’s books available today. Shoes for Me! was published first, in 2011, and is about a little girl hippo whose feet have grown. She and Mom head out to the shoe store to find a new pair of shoes. A Dress for Me!, published in 2012, is the second in the series. Our little hippo again goes with Mom to the dress store to get a new dress for school. The third in the series, Books for Me!, will come out in 2014, but this time hippo and her Dad go to the library to search for good books. Had to get the Dad in there! Tons of Trucks came out the summer of 2012 and is a rhyming, novelty book about trucks—with interactive moving parts for little hands. It’s a great introduction to transportation and shows children all the different kinds of trucks and what they do. And these trucks happen to be driven by lots of different kinds of sweet animals. I have 6 more books coming out—2 this fall—so stay tuned!

I think book trailers are such a great way to give readers a glimpse of the characters and the style of writing, and should be just enough to tease or entice someone into checking it out. I love book trailers—especially because sometimes I’m afraid I’ll come upon a spoiler review before I read a book. And often the back of the book has very little about what’s actually inside. I rely on book trailers more and more to guide me on whether I’ll read the book or not. I made book trailers for all my books. Shoes and Dress I actually made with iMovie, and my Tons of Trucks illustrator, Betsy Snyder, along with her talented husband, created an animated book trailer for that one.

School visits are one of the best ways to get to know my readers. They’re also great for getting new ideas. Kids will often tell me what I should write next, and their ideas are great! I’m trying to do more school visits, but since I have two young boys at home and also hold a job, it’s not as easy to schedule them. My hours are very flexible, though, and I’m a low-maintenance author, so please, if you’d like me to come to your school, just ask!

The best thing about being a children’s author is all the people I’ve met since starting this journey. My eyes have been opened to a world of the most creative, friendly and generous people on Earth. I’d been writing all my life, but it wasn’t until I ventured into children’s writing, that I felt like I found a real purpose for my writing. If I can help one child learn to read from something I’ve written, well, then, I’m happy.

In addition to being a children's author I'm also a Mom of two boys, ages 8.5 and almost 10. I'm a Sr. Copyright for eBay (ever heard of 'em?), where I write communications for people and businesses that sell on eBay. I do some marketing consulting on and off (mostly off these days), and in my spare time (what's that?) I also write freelance articles about topics that interest me. I lead my writing critique group and sometimes help with writing conferences. I also volunteer at my boys' school, in the classroom and during their annual walkathon. 

Photo credit: Sue Fliess

The Rutgers University Council on Children’s Literature was a wonderful conference! You have to apply, so you know if you are accepted, everyone there is committed to children’s literature and serious about getting published. The writer to editor ratio is mind-boggling. I had the good fortune of accidentally having lunch with an editor to whom I’d submitted 3 manuscripts months earlier. She, of course, did not know who I was or what I’d submitted. But by the end of lunch, she’d made a note to sift through her giant (slush) pile when she got back and read my stuff. And…a few months later she bought my first book, 
Shoes for Me!

Reading is an essential life skill, yet something most of us take for granted. I sometimes try to imagine what it would be like if I didn’t know how to read. It would be the most helpless feeling. Reading seems like such a basic skill, yet there are so many people who don’t know how, or are never given the opportunity to learn. As the saying goes, when kids are little they’re learning to read, but once older, they’re reading to learn. How can you learn and grow if you don’t know how to read? We need to stop cutting library funding and make literacy a priority.

Picture books are a crucial building block for a child’s development. I am not a teacher or educator, but I know that with my own children, we could not get enough picture books. Not only are they wonderful for parent-child bonding, but it’s lets kids associate images with words and make sense of language, of their world. Picture books are more powerful than many think.

Photo credit: Sue Fliess
Mr. Schu, you should have asked me about the time when I was 19 that I won first place—$100—in an amateur talent contest. We were on a family vacation in Key West and passed by a venue that was holding a talent contest and my sister convinced me to sing. I agreed, but once we got in there, not one person with a guitar knew any songs that I knew. So, when it was my turn, I stood up there, all alone on the stage and sang Faithfully by Journey…a cappella! What does this have to do with writing, you ask? Writing is about bravery and taking risks…and also doesn’t usually pay very well. Haha!

I am giving away a copy of Shoes for Me! and a copy of A Dress for Me! 

Rules for the Giveaway

1. It will run from 3/22 to 11:59 P.M. on 3/24. 

2. You must be at least 13. 

3. Please pay it forward. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Wonderful Morning with Loren Long

Author-illustrator Loren Long spent a memorable morning in my  school library putt puff puttedy chuffing with my students. He talked about Of Thee I Sing, Mr. Peabody's Apples, The Little Engine That Could, and the Otis series. He read Otis and the Puppy and taught us how to draw Otis.  Loren's down-to-earth personality wowed every student and teacher. He spoke from his heart. 

I met with my first graders five minutes after Loren walked out the door. Here is what they said about Loren's author visit...

*I like that I heard Otis and the Puppy for the first time from Loren Long. It made it extra special. 

*It was interesting watching Loren Long draw Otis. 

*I learned that learning to read was difficult for Loren when he was a child, but he became a wonderful reader and writer.

*Loren Long drew Otis for us. I want to draw my own Otis tonight. We can send it to Loren Long.

*I learned that he uses different kinds of paint and supplies.

*I want to draw Otis tonight and share it with my family.

*My favorite part was when Loren drew Otis.

*Loren Long read us Otis and the Puppy. It was AWESOME.

*I liked when we stood in line to shake Loren Long's hand. He's a nice guy.

*I loved when Loren showed us the picture of him with President Obama.

*I learned that Loren Long is a very creative man.

*I liked when he talked about all the amazing books he’s written and illustrated.

*It was nice learning about his childhood.

*Loren Long's presentation was 

-the best part of my day

What do my second graders want me to share with Loren Long? 

*You are awesome. 

*I wish you could visit our library every day. 

*You're the best guy ever. 

*I'm glad you told us about your childhood. You're very kind. 

*I appreciate you coming to my school for an author visit. It was really nice seeing you!

*You are the best tractor drawer. 

*I appreciate your work. You are the best. 

*I like you.

*Roses are red, violets are too. I am thankful you came to our school. 

*I love your books and paintings. 

*You are my favorite author in the whole world. 

*It was awesome meeting you in person. 

Loren Long's presentation was





*extremely enjoyable 


*the best thing I've ever seen 

Yes, that is a cake! 


I am giving away a signed copy of Otis and the Puppy. 

Rules for the Giveaway

1. It will run from today to 11:59 P.M. on 3/24. 

2. You must be at least 13

3. Please pay it forward.