Live from Target’s Book Fest-Part 2

Posted in Blog on Sep 11, 2010

If you have had kids in the last 10 years, you have come across at least one of Tom Lichtenheld’s books. He’s the illustrator of massively popular books like Duck! Rabbit!, Shark vs Train and Everything I Know About Pirates. He got his start by accident when his nephew asked him to draw pirate pictures. Tom spent a weekend drawing and writing these “made up facts” about pirates, bound it and sent it to his nephew. Soon people were telling him to send it publishers, which he did…and got some rejections but after a few years landed an agent and the rest is kid literary history!

How might a book author/illustrator make a reading compelling for a sea of young-uns who, as we all know, can be distracted by a blade of grass? Well, by engaging an audience member – in this case one very together (truly, I was astounded by her ability to not sound nervous!) 8 year old girl read Duck! Rabbit! with Tom. This was followed by Tom doing an impromptu illustration of a pirate playing baseball…not to be confused with the Pittsburgh Pirates. This pirate was the manifestation of two slips of paper drawn from two bags – one “A Bag of Heroes” and the other “A Bag of Settings.” This is also a technique he uses when he teaches kid writing workshops – it helps them find a writing topic (I think I’ve just found a new place of inspiration!)

Speaking of inspiration, Tom – who has no kids of his own – gets his inspiration by observing kids…no doubt, this is a goldmine of inspiration. (calling all of our kids’ imaginary friends….)

The kids delighted in Tom’s presentation and a long line formed in the book-signing tent.

I had a chance to chat with the extremely nice and talented duo, the Okee-Dokee Brothers, who performed earlier today. Super fun music that you’ll like (for real.) Speaking of music – I’m off to check out Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Nap Time Players…they’re riling up the audience and I need to see what’s happening….!