Lincoln Elementary Q & A

Visiting schools you never get to answer ALL of the great questions and inquiries. Here are a few of those "unaddressed" from a recent visit:

(William's Class)

Q: Are you always busy writing and illustrating?
A: I try to be - I could be ALWAYS busy writing and illustrating, but sometimes I visit schools and bookstores too. I also like to take a break now and again by skiing (not so much in summer), going for a run (not so much in winter), or playing with my wife, daughter and dog (all year long).

Skiing with my brother Colby (right) just after Christmas '07

Q: When you were a young boy and doodling as a kid, did people notice your work was good?

A: A little bit I think. My friends and I drew together a lot. WE thought we were good – making up robots, spaceships, dinosaurs, and superheroes of our own. Mrs. Terriquez, my high school art teacher, probably sealed my fate to pursue some kind of job as an artist. She was great - super encouraging and enthusiastic about all of the different things that you might do as an artist.

Q: Do you have other books written? If so, what are they about?
A: Yes, but those stories are all hush-hush top-secret at this point. Thanks for asking :)

Q: Was it hard to make every two lines rhyme in OCTAVIUS BLOOM AND THE HOUSE OF DOOM?
A: Yes and no. Many of the rhymes came easy, but making changes AND making them rhyme was tough. It was fun to tell a story that way though. Try it sometime!

(Houston's Class)

Q: Did you go sledding in Alaska?
A: Yes, YES, YES! And lots of snow fort building too.

Q: What is your favorite activity in the snow?
A: Cross-country skiing, followed closely by sledding, and snowshoeing. Snow forts have to be much bigger than they used to.

Unspoiled courderoy trails if you get out early! From a recent ski patrol...

Ok, so I still make snow forts now and again too!

Q: Can you write and illustrate a book about cars and hamsters?
A: Hmmm… I just might do that. In the mean time, check out 10 MINUTES ‘TIL BEDTIME by Peggy Rathman. She makes great books.

Q: How long have you been drawing?
A: For as long as I can remember… 30+ years!!!!

(Brown’s Class)

Q: How many books have you written that are NOT published?
A: About four, with LOTS of ideas waiting in the wings.

Q: How did you make the large Percy Bear?

Erik, Percy, and a young fan at Erik's very first book reading c. April 2000.

A: I drew it on a BIG piece of cardboard with pastel.

Q: How many years have you been writing and illustrating?
A: Nine or ten… I started thinking about my first book idea in 1998.

Q: What inspired you to write THE PRACTICALLY PERFECT PAJAMAS?
A: A picture that I drew of a polar bear in pajamas AND my lovely pajamas loving-wife, Sarah.

Q: What type of paints do you use for illustrating?
A: Watercolor paint, and most of the time, a bit of colored pencil too.

Thanks for the great questions Lincoln Elementary!


Doggie Dash 2008

On February 17th, the 5th Annual Doggie Dash takes place here in Winthrop, WA. I love xc skiing. I love dogs. I'm helping out with the event :)

Bring your skis, a leash, and your favorite pooch. Good times!


Thank You Wenatchee!

A huge THANK YOU to all of the Wenatchee Schools, students, teachers, PTA and other volunteers that made my visits last week so welcoming and fun. The kids were fantastic, the schedules bustling, and the energy levels catching. Here are just a few photos from the day at Lincoln Elementary. Tomorrow, I'll post the answers to a few of the student questions. I can't wait to be back in February to visit a few additional schools!

A very cool penquin drawing by Carolina. One small part of the amazing first grade "Thank You" card that was presented to me at Lincoln Elementary.

Mrs. Wilson's Second grade class AND the next book-to-be, Chérie Stihler's POLAR POLKA. PP comes out in February, so a few of the classes got a sneak peak!

A closer look at some POLAR POLKA smiles.


School Visits 2008

The New Year's season of school visits kicks off this week in Wentachee, WA. I'll be visiting for 3 days, sharing stuff, drawing with kids. Kickin' it!

1.17 Washington Elementary 8:30am - 2:45 pm

1.18 Lincoln Elementary (a full day)

1.19 Lewis & Clark Elementary 8:30am - 1:30pm

A few more in February. A few more in March. Just about right :)


Keene State Owl

This snowy owl - I do love the arctic climes - is my contribution to the Keene State Festival Owl Project. Its taken me a while to get this together, but it's in the mail this afternoon. Enjoy!


Happy New Year!

2007 was an incredibly rewarding year for me as both an illustrator and as a presenter at schools and libraries. I welcomed two new books into the world, finished three others, and made steady progress on a few additional stories of my own. I visited over 40 libraries, at least 10 elementary schools, and had an incredible time sharing my work and stories with many MANY kids. Among the highlights: the Humbolt County Author's Festival, the NCRL Summer Reading Program, and the Lynnwood Public Library's "Best Book I Ever Read" Celebration.

2008 is shaping up to be equally great, and a BIG thank you to all of the librarians, teachers, kids, parents, and readers everywhere that make my job so fantastic.

Write on. Draw loud. Read happy.

Happy New Year!