Jan Brett

I took the kids to their first book signing.

Jan Brett came to JMU on her national book tour for The Snowy Nap. She was *adorable*. I loved her.

Among other *adorable* things, she travels with a hedgehog mascot (who is this really for? Me, or the kids? Me, of course!)

I had sort of forgotten that this was going on and made plans to hang out with Carlos. When I put it together, I texted him and said, “There’s this Jan Brett thing, we don’t have to go, but if you want to…” He immediately responded that he’d like to go. Carlos is up for anything, and I love that about him. He told me that he remembered reading The Mitten in elementary school, and he was excited to get to meet the author.

Petra had decided before we went that it was going to be boring, so of course, she was bored. But Silas was thrilled. He hung onto her every word as she talked for about 20 minutes about her drawing technique and how she gets ideas.

Jan drew a picture of a hedgehog on a drawing board as part of her talk. She described how she starts with simple shapes, and then adds detail. “I just keep adding details and suddenly I’m building a whole world!” she said. I could totally understand that, given what her books look like.

We waited in line for an hour to get our books signed. The kids were super bored, but we made it through. I did crazy things like had them play madlibs in my head (“Twas the night before Christmas when all through the—Silas, give me a noun!”). They made their hair all staticky with the fleece from Silas’ jacket.

I was wondering if I was out of my mind to do this, but when we got up there, Silas blurted out, “Hello, my name is Silas and I’m an author and I’m writing a book called Brian the Dragonologist: Book One: Snow. It’s the first in a series. I’m illustrating it, too.” He was so excited to get to talk shop for 90 seconds with a real author.

Jan, for her part, was incredibly gracious with all of us. She must have been tired after signing books and meeting people for an hour, but she took a moment to talk with each of the kids.

Carlos and Silas both said they would do this again (Petra is not sure, but even she said it was cool, and the next day, she wanted to read The Snowy Nap.).


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