What's TLA? It's the TEXAS LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, of course!
I was invited to speak and sign my books at the mothership of Texas librarians held in Fort Worth, Texas. It's a place where librarians from all over the great state o' Texas gather to meet, greet and what else- TALK BOOKS!
It's also a place where authors and illustrators are invited to do the same. I knew it was going to be an incredible weekend, so I needed all the strength I could muster to keep up with the activities (I didn't want to miss a thing).
I started with a big breakfast (also known as the most important meal of the day- next to lunch and dinner- oh, yes, and several snacks). I needed my breakfast in a hurry! No need to put it on a plate, buddy. I'll eat it right out of the skillet! Yee-hah!
It's a who's who of children's book authors and illustrators at TLA. I ran into new chum Bob Shea and old chum Tony DiTerlizzi.
Of course Doug was there!
I also got a chance to chat with my friend Jarrett Krosoczka, who suddenly put on a set of headphones and pushed me into a chair.
My first stop in Seattle was the St Alphonsus
School, where I continued to spread the word: UNPLUG!
This was a super bright group of kids who had some excellent questions. One girl asked, "Which is the best publisher to publish with?"
That kid is going to rule the world some day.
It may look like I'm disco dancing, but I'm actually reading DOUG UNPLUGGED. And yes, I know I'm using a screen to do it! But I also talk about how screens can be used as tools and it's all about a BALANCE between being plugged in and unplugging.
So I unplugged and used good ol' marker and paper.
The next stop was Schmitz Park Elementary with Bob Staake, where we got some help with our drawings.
Then it was off to 3rd Place Books with Bob Staake and Chris Raschka, where we read and did a little drawing demo for the kids.
Now for a well-deserved dinner!
Yes, I know it looks kinda gross, but oysters are dee-lish! Believe it or not, you may actually like them when you become a grown up.
Oh man! The Los Angeles Time Festival of Books was FANTASTIC! I was whisked to the hospitality tent for a quick tech check, sound check and snacks and saw the schedule for the day. What a lineup!
I haven't spoken to the Justice League since they asked me to join the team, but I had to turn them down. Fighting super villains left me little time to write and illustrate my books, so they hired their second choice, Aquaman. He was a nice guy and I wished him lots of luck with the League (they have excellent medical and dental coverage), but I have one complaint- he ate the last chocolate chip cookie on the snack table.
I popped by the book store tent and saw a nice display of my books.
Uh oh! Time to take the Target stage!
I am talked to the kids about my new book DOUG UNPLUGGED and SCREEN FREE WEEK. We talked about how we use computers to help us in our everyday lives, but we also need to take some time to unplug.
This was my view from the stage. Pretty cool!
I also read DOUG UNPLUGGED.
Whew! That was hard work, but fun. Time for lunch.
I grabbed a bite with my children's book chums, the talented and lovely Lisa Yee, the talented and, well, I wouldn't say lovely, but talented and quite funny Tom Angleberger and my longtime pal, Dan Santat. Lisa brought her buddy Peepy who hopped up on the table.
Now off to San Francisco! On my way out of Los Angeles, I saw some pretty cool stuff.
Here I am with fellow Screen Free Brethren, Bob Staake at the popular San Francisco children's book store, THE READING BUG, spreading the word of UNPLUGGING!
I also visited another lovely book store, BOOKS, INC. It seems that they have excellent taste in counter posters.