First of all, I want to express my enormous thanks to every one of you who came to one of my launch events in the past few weeks. Whether you’re a friend, a teacher, a librarian, a bookseller, a parent, or one of the many hundreds of students I spoke with while on tour, asante (which is “thank you” in Swahili) from the bottom of my heart! It’s been a joy to watch How to Be an Elephant find its footing in the world, and the response to the book has been tremendous. Tour highlights included presenting with fellow Roaring Brook author/illustrator Jason Chin at Bear Pond Books, talking through David Macaulay’s next nonfiction book with him in his studio (more on that in an upcoming newsletter), meeting elephant conservation rock stars Iain Douglas-Hamilton and Frank Pope at the Wildlife Expo in San Francisco, and discussing science books in STEM curriculum at the AASL conference in Phoenix, AZ. My last scheduled launch event for the year will be at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library on November 18 at 11:00 AM, so if you live in the area and can make it out, I look forward to seeing you there!
Secondly, while on tour I was the guest on two terrific podcasts:
#AmWriting Episode 73: #OpenYourMouth with co-hosts Jess Lahey and KJ Dell-Antonia, in which we discussed pitching illustrated books and the power of talking about your project; and Picturebooking Episode 90: How to Be an Elephant, or an Artist, or a Parent with host Nick Patton, during which we discussed African elephants and how to find the balance between work and family life. If you want to know more about my research and my process, these podcasts are for you, and I’m very proud of both.
Finally, two other top secret projects have been swirling through my life in the midst of this launch, and my emotions have been swinging from eager excitement to the kind of terror that makes me want to crawl under the couch. But I’ve been reminding myself that “life begins at the edge of your comfort zone,” and I’m determined to use these open doors to reach even more kids with informational storytelling, art, and science. Stay tuned for more news, it’s all happening soon!