Little Elliot's Neighborhood

Polka Dotting the US: The Little Elliot Book Tour Recap

Wow! It has been a very busy few weeks! Elliot and I criss-crossed the country on a book tour to promote Little Elliot, Big City. We met lots of new friends! Here are some highlights from each stop…

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9/19 Norfolk, VA

I started my journey at SIBA (Southern Independent Booksellers Association).

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FIRST TIMER ribbon = all hugs & no hazing ūüėČ

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I did a book signing, and spoke on a panel featuring Little Elliot, Big City; Pout Pout Fish Goes to School illustrated by Dan Hanna; The Stick by Clay Rice; and Louise Loves Art by my friend Kelly Light.

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It was nice to see a familiar face on my first day! Kelly Light was also on tour, and supplied me with some helpful pointers.

9/20-21 Arlington, VA

Next stop was NAIBA (New Atlantic¬†Independent Booksellers Association). This was a treat because I had most of Saturday free, so I got to see my brother-in-law, Kevin, who just happened to be in town, and¬†I got to walk around DC, which I’ve never done¬†before. I took quite a few fun pics while walking the Mall…

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Mr. Curato Goes to Washington

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Little Elliot, Big CAPITOL City!

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Little Elliot, Big House

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The Representative from NY

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Little Elliot, Big Gallery, where I had exactly one hour to run around and get a peek at such delights as Degas, Cassatt, Wyeth, Singer Sergeant, and of course Hopper.

That night I got to hang out with folks from the We Need Diverse Books exhibit, including my friend Kat Yeh! Her new book The Truth About Twinkie Pie comes out Winter 2015!

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Elliot loves cupcakes, but Twinkie Pie sounds good too!!

On Sunday I was a part of the Discover New Authors Moveable Feast, and met a lot of friendly East Coast booksellers. I also got to stop by the Jefferson Memorial.

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9/22-24 Seattle & Bellingham, WA

I returned to my second home, Seattle for several days. Though I had a¬†book release party¬†there in August, I was able to have an in-store event on the 23rd at Third Place Books¬†in Ravenna for all the folks who couldn’t make the last one (and a few diehards who came for round 2!)

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Each group I presented to got to participate in making our own Elliot story! We would come up with three sentences, and the audience would “art direct” what should go in each scene. The first response to “What did Elliot see in Seattle?” was “GODZILLA!”. The stick figure holding the football is Russell Wilson. Not yet pictured: employees of a start up company with ironic accessories.

On the 24th, I read at Village Books  in Bellingham, WA. I was so excited to see my old friends Natalie & Kay there! We had some yummy crepes afterward.

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Such a cute town, with a wonderful bookstore!

I also read that day at Lowell Elementary, my first school visit on the tour!

I was honored to receive this book of illustrations and questions from the students at Lowell!

I was honored to receive this book of illustrations and questions from the students at Lowell!

On the 25th, I was back in Seattle, reading at View Ridge Elementary and Highland Terrace Elementary.

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All the schools I presented at got to keep our Elliot story ūüôā

9/25-26 Bay Area, CA

San Francisco was wonderful! Though I was staying in the city, my events were in Marin & Sonoma Counties.

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The good folks at Book Passage supplied books at Coleman Elementary and Glenwood School¬†in San Rafael. When we were waiting for the auditorium to clear out from music class, I got to watch a really enthusiastic teacher lead about 150 kids in the cutest rendition of Pharrell’s “Happy.”

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We stopped by Book Passage on the way back to town, and my media escort, Kevin Peters,¬†spotted this…

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That night I had a lovely dinner reunion with my friends Christine, Michael, Karl & Wynn.

The next day we headed up to Petaluma to Miwok Elementary, Old Adobe Elementary, and Valley Vista Elementary.

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I had the honor of meeting Mrs. Marie Hilton, librarian of 40 years at Old Adobe and ex-roller derby girl. Old Adobe named the school library after her (and rightly so).

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My friends at Valley Vista got me some (really good) cupcakes!! This turned out to be the first sweet offering of many. I really need to go on tour more often!

Afterwards, I had a “meet the author” event at Copperfield’s Books.¬†

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Patty, me & the bait!

I got to sign Copperfield's signing table!

I got to sign Copperfield’s signing table! I enjoy how Fancy Nancy is looking over at Elliot (or is she just eyeing his cupcake!?)

9/27 Portland, OR

On Saturday, I read at two¬†Powell’s Books¬†locations! After being a Northwesterner for ten years, this was a pretty big deal for me.

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Little Elliot on Burnside!

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legit!!

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Possibly the most adorable kid on the entire tour was at the Beaverton Powell's. He wore this Captain America hoodie with the mask on the entire time, but then revealed his secret identity when it was time to get his book signed. #showstopper

Possibly the most adorable kid on the entire tour was at the Cedar Hills Crossing¬†Powell’s. He wore this Captain America hoodie with the mask on the entire time, but then revealed his secret identity when it was time to get his book signed. #showstopper

My favorite surprise was a cameo by Maggie Rudy at my Cedar Hills Crossing reading & signing. I’ve been such a fan of her work for such a long time, so it was so awesome finally meet her. We ended up getting a very quick lunch (as in she watched me scarf down a salad), as I was whisked away to the train station to head to Tacoma!

9/27 Tacoma, WA

At¬†PNBA (Pacific Northwest¬†Booksellers Association), I was part of the brand spanking new¬†Sweet & Greet, a showcase where booksellers can meet authors to learn about their book, get one signed, and have some dessert. It’s as if it were designed with me in mind. Also, I ¬†ran into my buddy Michael Buckley there, so after “work” was done, we got to hang!

Beautiful view of downtown Tacoma from my room! You can just see the top of Mt Rainier peeking out of the clouds on the left. She came out to say hello later, and I was super happy to see her.

Beautiful view of downtown Tacoma from my room! You can just see the top of Mt Rainier peeking out of the clouds on the left. She came out to say hello later, and I was super happy to see her.

9/28-29 St.Louis & Washington, MO

I flew into sunny St Louis, where the temperature was in the 80s! I’m glad they didn’t get the memo about it being Fall.

Elliot also had his first Steak & Shake experience

Elliot had his first Steak & Shake experience to beat the heat!

Little Elliot, Big River

Little Elliot, Big River

Chris Stuckenschneider from¬†The Missourian¬†asked me to visit her little friends at¬†Washington West Elementary. Later that day, we had an event at¬†Washington Public Library, where folks were having a pajama party and making their own paper elephants!! Here is Chris’ write up of the event.

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Chris (left) and Dawn (center) head up Book Buzz, an awesome organization that donates books to local schools, thanks to service clubs and organizations in the area.

9/30-10/1 Naperville & Chicago, IL

When I visited Patterson School in Naperville, IL, not only was I greeted by over 500 students, there was also a local news crew! Just your typical day…


I also visited St. Isaac Jogues, then headed to the hotel for some downtime. I may have slept for a few hours, then had a veggie wrap while sitting in a hot bath. Though I wasn’t washing dishes like Elliot, I too believe in multi tasking.

That evening I¬†had an in-store event at¬†Anderson’s Bookshop! It was an intimate setting, featuring some all-star cameos like¬†Mr Schu & Donna K.

Elliot on the wall at Anderson's!

Elliot on the wall at Anderson’s!

Best of all, my high school buddy Brian showed up, and I got to meet his wife and kid for the first time! Woah woah woah!

Vito & me!...and a roller skating Elliot with a walkman which prompted the question "What's a Walkman?"

Vito & me!…and a roller skating Elliot with a walkman which prompted the question “What’s a Walkman?”

Anderson's was a TREAT!

Anderson’s was a TREAT!

Elliot is unfamiliar with this strange concoction, but he ate and enjoyed it all the same.

Elliot is unfamiliar with this strange concoction, but he ate and enjoyed it all the same.

The next day it was on to Chicago! We visited Mann School and Holmes School in Oak Park. Books were provided by Magic Tree Bookstore, the cutest little shop (and we all know I like cute little things).

Horace Mann School boasts some beautiful WPA murals!

Horace Mann School boasts some beautiful WPA murals!

Kathy runs a lovely library at the Mann School

Kathy runs a lovely library at the Mann School

My media escort, Bill Young, gave me a quick tour of the gorgeous Oak Park neighborhood. It has many architectural and historical gems…

One of many houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

One of many houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

Hemingway's birthplace!

Hemingway’s birthplace!

Elliot likes meeting other animals. This is Homer (and  Gabby in the background)

Elliot likes meeting other animals. This is Homer (and Gabby in the background). Smiles all around!

10/2-4 Raleigh-Durham, NC

The last leg of the trip was in North Carolina! Quail Ridge Bookstore¬†provided books at¬†St. Timothy’s and¬†St. David’s Schools in Raleigh. Both schools not only gave cupcakes to me, but to all the students too!! Sounds like somewhere I’d like to be enrolled.

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I got a warm welcome at the door at St. Timothy’s

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Meg & Sarah at St. Timothy’s: sweet librarians and their sweet wall decals

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V.I.P.!!!

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Katherine, Peggy & Betty at St. David’s

I finished early that day, so I got to spend some time at the North Carolina Museum of Art. They have a lovely collection.

Elliot enjoys Monet's sunset

Elliot enjoys Monet’s sunset

Possibly the best dinner on the tour was had at NOFO at the Pig, a little cafe in what used to be a Piggly Wiggly.

Elliot is sniffing at the sumptuous shrimp & grits that I am about to devour.

Elliot is sniffing at the sumptuous shrimp & grits that I am about to devour.

The cafe next door had an alluring dessert case, so Elliot and I went in to investigate…

Little Elliot, Big Conundrum

Little Elliot, Big Conundrum

On Friday we went to Chapel Hill. Fly Leaf Books provided books at Estes Hills Elementary and Sewell Elementary.

Seawell Elementary has a Critter Corner!!!

Seawell Elementary has a Critter Corner!!!

me with the friendly folks at Seawell

me with the friendly folks at Seawell

Later that day, my cousins from Charlotte met up for a Cassidy Family Mini-Reunion!

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Antoinette is holding an animation cell that I made for her when I was in the 6th grade.

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Chantel, me, Cassandra, & Antoinette. It was 6 years since I’d seen them!!

Saturday was the last day of the tour!!! We visited The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, and it was a lovely ending to an amazing trip.

Country Pines has an enchanting Main Street, with an equally enchanting bookstore. Not pictured: the adorable Little Elliot window WITH ACTUAL CUPCAKES IN IT!!!

Country Pines has an enchanting Main Street, with an equally enchanting bookstore. Not pictured: the adorable Little Elliot window WITH ACTUAL CUPCAKES IN IT!!!

Finally, it was off to the airport to go HOME!

Elliot was all packed and ready!

Elliot was all packed and ready!

Buuut turns out my flight was cancelled. I did finally get home the next morning. At least the hotel I stayed at gave me this warm and gooey consolation prize…

I guess the trip didn't want to end without dessert...

I guess the trip didn’t want to end without dessert…

In closing…

I have to shout a great big THANK YOU to Macmillan for sending me on such a rare adventure!!! I think Elliot and I made a lot of new friends who I hope I will see again in the future. Also, a special thank you to all of the media escorts, who made sure everything went smoothly, drove me to and fro, and ensured that I had enough water, food, and underpants: Diane Duthweiler, Kevin Peters, Laura Tarrish, Bill Young, and Cindy Sellars. You were all great company.

Keep an eye on my events calendar for more events happening in the NY-NJ area this Fall!

 

 

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