*NEW BOARD BOOK Series in the workings!

Blog - Mon, 04/21/2014 - 11:34
Having fun with colors in the studio today working on a new board book series for Workman!
Stay tuned for more pictures in the studio and a behind the scenes look on new projects.
 
xo Barney 
Categories: Blog

Chengdu Could Not Would Not Fall Asleep

Blogspot - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 12:15
Chengdu Could Not Would Not Fall Asleep releases May 6th, 2014. Enter the cool book giveaway on Goodreads or Facebook
High in his tree a young panda named Chengdu lies awake, even though everyone around him is quietly sleeping. He tosses and he turns. He scrunches and he squirms. But it's not until he finds the perfect spot-atop his brother, Yuan-that he finds rest. But now Yuan can't sleep


Goodreads Book Giveaway
Chengdu Could Not, Would Not, Fall Asleep by Barney Saltzberg
Chengdu Could Not, Would Not, Fall Asleep by Barney Saltzberg
Giveaway ends May 20, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Watch Chengdu trying his best to fall asleep:
KIRKUS REVIEW
In a twist on numerous picture books about little animals who are determined to stay awake, Chengdu the panda is trying his hardest to get to sleep.
Droll illustrations accompany spare, lulling text, leading to Chengdu’s success and a humorous surprise near the book’s end. The cover art is an immediate draw: The small panda’s oversized paws cling to a tree branch as his expressive, sleep-deprived face stares at readers, expertly matching the “could not, would not fall asleep” of the title. Initial pages establish a soporific mood, showing utterly relaxed, drowsily smudged pandas snoozing against a star-studded black sky, muted green bamboo branches the only spots of color. Large, softened white letters murmur, “It was late, and it was quiet, // and everyone in the bamboo grove was sleeping.” The next double-page spread consists of white space with only two wide-awake, black-masked panda eyes and the words, “Everyone except….” Of course, the page turn leads readers back to wide-awake Chengdu, staring plaintively from his moon-washed tree branch. Varied compositions and a couple of gatefolds add to the fun for readers as poor Chengdu tosses, scrunches and climbs his way to sleep…almost but, happily, not quite at the expense of his brother, Yuan.
Little sleepyheads will love chanting along with the words, and no one can deny the appeal of the art. A bedtime winner. (Picture book. 1-5) Read more
Categories: Barney's Blog, Blog

TEA WITH GRANDPA GIVEAWAY

Blogspot - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:40


So excited to share TEA WITH GRANDPA with you releasing April 15th. Don't forget to enter the cool Giveaway on  Facebook or GoodReads.

Spending time with Grandpa is always fun. Singing, laughing, eating, and playing. And when it's time to say goodbye, It won't be for long because He's never too far away to have tea. In this sweetly simple, rhyming picture book by acclaimed author/artist Barney Saltzberg, a little girl tells us about her daily tea ritual with her grandfather where they sing and laugh and clink their teacups with the help of their computers and a video chat.

"Mischievous pet antics add a dash of fun, but the focus is on the sweet bond between these two family members separated by distance." —Publishers Weekly

Facebook Giveaway:   ENTER TO WIN


GoodReads Giveaway




Goodreads Book Giveaway
Tea with Grandpa by Barney Saltzberg
Tea with Grandpa by Barney Saltzberg
Giveaway ends May 10, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win




Categories: Barney's Blog, Blog

Tea With Grandpa - Kirkus Review

Blogspot - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:22
KIRKUS REVIEW
A young girl and her grandpa do not let distance keep them from their daily commitment to have tea together.
Bespectacled Grandpa meets up with his curly-haired granddaughter “[e]very day at half past three” to spend time with each other. Tea is poured, stories are told, songs are sung, and much laughter is shared. Observant readers will notice the girl’s pet cat and Grandpa’s pup cavorting as the gentle vignettes go back and forth between the two characters. Pastel-hued illustrations in what look like watercolor with details drawn using fine black lines have a cheerful cartoon style. Each spread presents one page with a simple line or two of gently rhyming text opposite a vignette of either Grandpa or the little girl. Even though the background colors subtly change from green for the girl’s scenes to pale blue for the grandfather’s, few will predict the unexpected ending that increases this title’s charm and timeliness. When Grandpa says, “I’d like some muffin,” his granddaughter tells him he is “[t]oo far away.” But on the following page, they almostclink their cups together against a pink, heart-shaped background and say their goodbyes face to face…through the computer.
The welcome modern twist to Saltzberg’s intergenerational story is sweetly affirming for today’s far-flung families. (Picture book. 3-6)


Watch the Tea With Grandpa Book Trailer 



Categories: Barney's Blog, Blog

"Keep passing open windows"

Blogspot - Mon, 12/16/2013 - 11:32
I have published 48 books and have contracts for many new titles.  I was looking for something today and opened a drawer labeled 'ideas' in my flat file.  It dawned on me that for every book concept I sell, many ideas never get fully realized.  There are a lot of half baked ones in this drawer. Some, fully baked but not tasty enough for an editor to bite.... Some good ones that have just never found a home.  And of course, plenty that just don't work.

When I was in a band in high school, we had a music teacher who was trying to produce us.  He said that if we were ever writing a song and it just felt like it was going nowhere, to finish it any way.  Just get it out of your system.  He also told us to buy albums of band that didn't make it and to try to figure out what went wrong.  Sometimes it's a lack of timing and publicity, but other times, the songs just don't work.  It's the same thing for books.  I've got a drawer to prove it.  (Plus, boxes of book dummies)

Maybe one day I will try to re-think some of the ideas in here.  Most likely, I will just keep adding things to the drawer.  The trick is, to quote John Irving from Hotel New Hampshire,  "Keep passing open windows".


Categories: Barney's Blog, Blog

Doodle Wednesday

Blogspot - Wed, 12/04/2013 - 17:35
Drawn in procreate on the ipad.


Categories: Barney's Blog, Blog

Oops! Wimpy Kid

Blog - Thu, 10/31/2013 - 13:16

 Wimpy Kid Author?

I was in St. Louis for my book tour to launch A Little Bit Of OOMPH!  
For some reason, I was promoting Jeff Kinney's new book at the same time!  
I wonder if there will be an OOMPH balloon in the Macy parade!
Categories: Blog

Checking in

Blogspot - Fri, 07/12/2013 - 11:18
Way too much time since the last time I wrote.

I have been swamped with new books!  A good thing.

Next on the list is A Little Bit of Oomph!

I will be traveling to different parts of the country to promote the book starting in September.
Cities as of now will be Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Sheboygan, Nashville.

More cities when I know, along with dates and where in the city I will be... Unless we want to play Where's Waldo!

Here is the new video for A Little Bit Of OOMPH!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqYJ-SreCmk
Categories: Barney's Blog, Blog

Now That I Am An Author, You Want Me To WHAT?

Blogspot - Fri, 11/30/2012 - 09:31

Now That I Am An Author, You Want Me To, WHAT?
 
 
I am in a hotel room in Clarksville Tennessee.  It’s 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon and I just arrived from Los Angeles.  I flew to Nashville and was taken to a Macaroni Grill where I found everything on the menu except Macaroni.  After lunch I was driven to a tiny hotel in Clarksville.  I don’t really have to be in Clarksville until 8:00 AM the following morning, but with the plane schedules and such, I now have some time to kill before I get picked up in the morning to begin a week of visiting elementary schools. 
 
I decide to take a walk.  There seems to be two places to visit in this part of Clarksville. A Boot Barn, which is right next to the hotel and a Walmart Superstore across the street.  The Boot Barn was having a going out of business sale and I thought it might be the perfect opportunity to buy a pair of cowboy boots at half price.  I felt like Cinderella, jamming my feet in to any boot that looked at all like something I would wear.  There wasn’t a pair of boots in the entire Boot Barn that fit!  Wonder why they’re going out of business?
 
The next stop on my afternoon tour was the Walmart Super Store.  It was as great as any museum I had ever been to.  Never having entered a Walmart, let alone a Walmart Superstore, I might as well have been wearing a floppy hat and had a camera and a pair of binoculars hanging from my neck.  I was a tourist and I could tell there was some serious site seeing to do at Walmartland.  Do you know that you can buy ammunitionand cottage cheese all under one roof?  (Not to mention all sorts of firearms so your ammo doesn’t go to waste)  I’m not sure what the occasion might be where you would need both cottage cheese and ammunition, but it didn’t matter, the fact that you could buy both in the same store was truly a wonder to me. 
 
I opted for the cottage cheese and passed on the ammunition.  I did, however, buy a box of crackers.  Having spent two hours wandering through the Walmart Superstore, I went back to the hotel and started clicking through channels while enjoying my edible souvenirs on the bed.  (Yes, my dear wife, I removed the bedspread first!) 
 
I settled on the Biography channel and found myself fascinated with the Carny Willson story.  I was actually her camp counselor when she was four or five.  (I kept sending home notes pleading with her parents to send Carny with tennis shoes because it was rather hard for her to run like the other children since dear little Carny came to camp wearing flip flops every day)  Here I was, lounging on a bed, eating crackers with cottage cheese and learning that Ms. Wilson had her stomach stapled.  (Always a fun subject when stuffing one’s face with cottage cheese and crackers)  Thinking back, it now occurs to me that had Carny been able to run around more as a child, she might not have needed this painful procedure, but I’m losing the point of this story. So, I’m watching this gripping program when suddenly I noticed a message scrolling across the bottom of the TV screen. “TORNADO WATCH AND FLASH FLOOD WARNING”.
 
I opened the door of my room and see that it’s pouring rain.  We’re talking Monsoon pouring.  I’ve seen heavy rain, but this Tennessee rain was coming down furious and flying sideways.  This was a day of firsts.  Cottage cheese and ammo and now sideways rain.   I look back at the TV and there's that lovely message still zipping along the bottom of the screen; “TORNADO WATCH AND FLASH FLOOD WARNING”. 
 
I have an old friend, Adie who lives in Nashville so I called and asked her what to do if there actually is a Tornado, given that there didn’t appear to be a basement at the hotel, and my only real life experience of what to do in case of a Tornado, comes from being tormented by the annual viewing of the Wizard of Oz on TV and we all know that the trick at a time like this is to hide in the basement.  The only reason I said, ‘tormented’ is that the flying monkeys scared me, every year.  “Take a blanket off the bed,” Adie instructed me, “And lay down in the bathtub and cover yourself with the blanket”.  Note to self, next time I visit a Walmart Superstore buy a helmet and a rowboat)
 
 
I stared at the TV screen and asked myself, “HOW DID I GET HERE?”
Categories: Barney's Blog, Blog

Notes From Students

Blogspot - Mon, 11/26/2012 - 09:00
After over thirty days of visiting schools around the country, it's GREAT to be home.
These notes along the way helped!


Categories: Barney's Blog, Blog

On the Road - Day 10

Blogspot - Thu, 10/25/2012 - 21:52

On the Road - Day 10

Austin Texas.  I’m a happy camper.  I love this city.  I woke up in Vero Beach, Florida.
Hurricane Sandy had already started licking the shore outside my window.  The wind was whipping and the trees were dancing.  It warm outside and I really loved being there, but was happy to hop on a plane after my two school visits.

I started off at a Catholic school.  The grounds were physically like a hotel.  It was a spectacular property.  The auditorium was stunning.  Full time sound man.  The sound was perfect.   The kids came in with their grandparents.  It was a great crowd.  Very responsive.  One of the grandmothers came up to me after and said that she’d come see me if I had an event for ‘just adults’!  I’ll add it to my list.  The second school had the most enthusiastic librarian who was wearing homemade Arlo glasses, complete with dog bones glued to the temples!  I signed tons of books today.

I was whisked away in a limo to drive a little over an hour to Melbourne, Florida.  (Who knew there was such a place?)  Flew to Atlanta.   

The Atlanta airport was the most crowded airport I’ve ever been it.  It was a zoo. My publisher was kind enough to buy a day pass for me to hang out in the Sky Club.  That was pretty crowded as well, but a much better place to be than out in the sea of people. 

Met a really interesting guy sitting next to me..... Hearing that he’s ‘killed’ over 250 wild animals in Africa was an interesting test.  I knew there was nothing I could say that was going to change his mind about his favorite past time.  Moving beyond that, he was really interesting... Just were just, clearly very different.

Met a sweetheart of a young woman (24) from Austin on the plane.  We yapped the whole way to Austin.  I really enjoyed speaking with her.... Never would have crossed paths if not for the flight.

The Texas book festival has volunteers who help out.  My escort was waiting at baggage and she zipped me in to town where I checked in to the Hilton in Austin.  She told me about a great, inexpensive Tex/Mex restaurant around the corner.  I went out to explore and found that they were closing as I arrived.  They suggested Jacalope, down the street.  A typical bar.  Ordered two fish tacos and a beer at the bar.  They brought me my food.  I watched the end of the World Series game.  Tacos were great... Accent on the ‘were’.  Just as I was finishing, something caught my eye and I saw a GIANT cockroach about to climb on to my plate from the table.  I flicked it on to the floor.  Jumped up and told the bouncer about the uninvited guest at my table.  He suggested I tell the ‘server’.  I said I was NOT going back inside..... SO sorry I had paid before the meal.

Fought the urge to vomit on the way back, and now I’m very happy being in my room.

A few schools in the morning, so that’s all I’ve got for today.
Adios.

Random pictures from Florida.






Categories: Barney's Blog, Blog

On the Road - Day 9

Blogspot - Wed, 10/24/2012 - 19:40
Woke up in Miami.  I'm writing tis in Vero Beach, Florida which is under tropical storm watch.  I'm staying at the Vero Beach Spa.  I so wish I could actually 'stay' here and play.  I'm on the second floor overlooking the ocean and the palm trees are swaying as the wind makes my curtains dance into the room.  The air feels like Hawaii or Mexico.  I love it.  I'm getting picked up at 8:00 AM so I really won't get a chance to enjoy this beyond tonight.

Early today I visited three schools.  Everybody was very enthusiastic.  Rushed around with the Miami traffic and was so blown away by the amazing bookstore, Books and Co in Corel Gable.  They had so many books to sign, it was a delight.  Plus, I loved talking to the book buyer.  A sweetheart!

Had an amazing drive with Clarence, the limo driver, who took me three hours north to Vero Beach.  Loved talking to him and as much as I wanted to nap, we seemed to yap!

SO happy to be in a lovely hotel.   I might even use the HUGE bathtub and soak.


Adios until Texas!
Categories: Barney's Blog, Blog

On the Road - Day 8

Blogspot - Tue, 10/23/2012 - 21:31
Woke up in Minnesota to a rainy day.  I haven't had one night where I've slept completely through the night.... Maybe tonight....

I took the shuttle over to the Mall of America.  Much different on a Tuesday morning.  Very quiet.  I'm really glad I checked it out on Sunday to get my bearings.  When I approached the stage, there was a giant marquee over head with my book, Andrew Drew and Drew being advertised!  Very cool to see.

I could see the kids were gong to be little.  It is Toddler Tuesday.  I opted to sit on the edge of the stage so I would be closer to the kids.  I was surprised to see how many children and parents were there.  It was an incredibly attentive group.  The participated in singing along and really listened intently when I read my books.  I was really happy with the way it went.

I signed a handful of books.  (I don't think this is really a buying audience.  They are looking for a morning activity to keep their toddler busy)  When I was finished signing books the woman from Barnes and Noble, (who supplied the books) said I had one more show.  Who knew?  It turned out to be a whole different crowd, only a half an hour later.  Again, a great audience and a small batch of signed books.  I did have a mom say her daughter thought I should go on American Idol.  I told her I was flattered but that I was a bit too old for that show!

Flew to Charlotte and then on to Miami.  Had a wonderful conversation with a really interesting guy who is at Loyola Law school and interested in Environmental law, in New Orleans.  It was such a treat to meet someone who is clearly looking to do good things on this planet.  As tired as I am, it is one of the perks of traveling so much.  It's the people I meet along the way.

I better go to sleep since I'm getting picked up in eight hours!!!!

Adios.

More random shots from today.






Categories: Barney's Blog, Blog

On the Road - Day 7

Blogspot - Mon, 10/22/2012 - 20:59
My last night in Minnesota.  It's getting a bit blurry as to who, what, where, so by at least stopping at the end of the day, I am trying to sort everything out.

I visited three schools today.  Kids everywhere are great.  Today was no exception.  I 'thought' I had asked for LCD projectors at each stop but it's hard to know for sure.  Bottom line, make each visit work.  I was able to use two dry erase boards.  Worked perfectly.  When I couldn't show my video, we sang and talked a bit more.  In some ways, it's good to have to improvise!   Keeps you from getting stale!

My wife says I have liked all of my drivers.  Today was no exception in that department either.  Tim was however, the first guy and a Democrat!  Felt very at home, right away.  I met the owner of the Red Balloon bookstore.  VERY, very sweet.  I didn't get to go to the store, but they brought books to two of the schools.  I did get to go visit the Wild Rumpus bookstore.   Knocked out!!!!!  Two chickens live in the store along with a bunch of other pets!  I felt so at home the moment I got there.  They even have a smaller front door for kids to walk through, built right into the front door.  It's so inspiring to see such passion for picture books!!!!!!!

I took some photos.  Will post below. Got to have dinner in the room and watch the third and final debate!!!!  It's hard to believe we all vote in two weeks.  Mall of America tomorrow morning and off to Florida.  Can't wait to write about performing at the Rotunda.

Adios for now.

Here are some funky shots of 'some' of the pets who live at the Wild Rumpus.... Also, they are having illustrators sign tiles which will be installed in their new bathroom.  You'll see my contribution.








Categories: Barney's Blog, Blog

On the Road - Day 6

Blogspot - Sun, 10/21/2012 - 19:14
Woke up at the Airport Hilton to find the Minnesota Wildlife Reserve next to the hotel!  I walked in silence for a couple of hours.  A nice change of pace.  Enjoy the photos.  I only wish I could pass the incredible smell along as well.

Back to schools and bookstores tomorrow.
Goodnight.













Categories: Barney's Blog, Blog

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Blogspot - Sat, 10/20/2012 - 18:25

On the Road, Day 5

Note’s from a teacher after my visit to The Miami Valley Early Childhood Center, Dayton Ohio.

Charlie - “I laughed so hard when he said, “My boss is going to come in, in a second”.  “Then a dog came in!”  (After seeing the video from my powerpoint)

Trevor - “I liked the silly book about the dog that needed glasses.  I wear glasses too”.

Maya - “I liked all his dogs”.

Cate - “We got to read all the books then I got to take them home.  Mommy is going to read them to me at bedtime tonight”.


On another note, I have been in Ohio for five days.  Can we talk about political commercials?  YIKES!  90% of them are from Romney.  I was told that even though I have seen pockets of Republicans, that a majority of the state is Democratic.  Oh, the TV is on as I write this and here’s another Romney ad.  “I’m not going to raise taxes on anyone….” 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Today I am underwear at a Macy’s sale.  I am sitting in a large room at the Duke Energy Center with a gazillion other authors at a table behind stacks of my books.  Hundreds of people are strolling down the isles and stopping by each table, thumbing through our books.  It’s a bit bizarre.  In the time it took to write that last sentence, two woman pushing a stroller, turned a few pages in Oops and moved on to another table. 

The day actually turned out to be amazing.  I was quite surprised to see how many families came out for books.  I lost count of how many copies I autographed.  I went into the ‘kids corner’ to perform and saw that there was a small stage on the opposite end of the room where a musical performance was going to take place when I finished.  Given that I have a small guitar and the size of the room, I was eyeing the stage.  Zak Morgan, a Cincinnati local was kind enough to offer me his stage as well as his lovey Taylor guitar.  We switched gears and I was able to show some books, draw and sing from the stage.  A delightful group for the half an hour and a good number of them followed me back to the book signing table. 

I met a girl, I believe she’s in the third grade, Brooke.  She was such a delight.  Clearly bitten by the picture book bug.  She draws and writes and was so enthusiastic.  Her mother showed me a sketchbook that Brooke has been filling with stories and art.  We did a little squiggle drawing together and it was clear, she ‘gets’ it.  I loved meeting her and asked her to send me some stories.  Now that connection wouldn’t have happened if I stayed home!

Speaking of connections, I met a wonderful Economics professor, Bernard, from South Africa.  We talked the entire flight to Minnesota.  I found my first Obama supporter for the first time in a few days.   Too bad he can’t vote here!  We talked about the education system in South Africa.  He said there’s almost 100% graduation rate in high school.  The alternatives are so bleak that people stay in school.  What was troubling is that they are starting kids at the age of 3!!!!!!  I asked what impact that was having, given that developmentally these kids aren’t ready for school.   He said they’re pretty stressed out by the age of 5.   YIKES. 

Bernard suggested I come to Africa to speak to the children.  I gave him my card since he said he’s connected to schools.  Who knows!!!!!!

At the Airport Hilton in Minnesota.  Room service again.  Looking forward to NOT having to be anywhere tomorrow.  I have work to do.  I think I’ll probably camp out all day in my sweats because I’m eight to ten miles out of the city.  A perfect recipe for hunkering down.  More work on Monday.

Adios.

 Here's my signing table and some fellow authors feeling like underwear at the sale.  (Honestly didn't ask but it's a good guess!)



Categories: Barney's Blog, Blog

<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;

Blogspot - Sat, 10/20/2012 - 18:19
On the Road, Day 5

Note’s from a teacher after my visit to The Miami Valley Early Childhood Center, Dayton Ohio.

Charlie - “I laughed so hard when he said, “My boss is going to come in, in a second”.  “Then a dog came in!”  (After seeing the video from my powerpoint)

Trevor - “I liked the silly book about the dog that needed glasses.  I wear glasses too”.

Maya - “I liked all his dogs”.

Cate - “We got to read all the books then I got to take them home.  Mommy is going to read them to me at bedtime tonight”.


On another note, I have been in Ohio for five days.  Can we talk about political commercials?  YIKES!  90% of them are from Romney.  I was told that even though I have seen pockets of Republicans, that a majority of the state is Democratic.  Oh, the TV is on as I write this and here’s another Romney ad.  “I’m not going to raise taxes on anyone….” 

Saturday, October 20, 2012 

Today I am underwear at a Macy’s sale.  I am sitting in a large room at the Duke Energy Center with a gazillion other authors at a table behind stacks of my books.  Hundreds of people are strolling down the isles and stopping by each table, thumbing through our books.  It’s a bit bizarre.  In the time it took to write that last sentence, two woman pushing a stroller, turned a few pages in Oops and moved on to another table. 

The day actually turned out to be amazing.  I was quite surprised to see how many families came out for books.  I lost count of how many copies I autographed.  I went into the ‘kids corner’ to perform and saw that there was a small stage on the opposite end of the room where a musical performance was going to take place when I finished.  Given that I have a small guitar and the size of the room, I was eyeing the stage.  Zak Morgan, a Cincinnati local was kind enough to offer me his stage as well as his lovey Taylor guitar.  We switched gears and I was able to show some books, draw and sing from the stage.  A delightful group for the half an hour and a good number of them followed me back to the book signing table. 

I met a girl, I believe she’s in the third grade, Brooke.  She was such a delight.  Clearly bitten by the picture book bug.  She draws and writes and was so enthusiastic.  Her mother showed me a sketchbook that Brooke has been filling with stories and art.  We did a little squiggle drawing together and it was clear, she ‘gets’ it.  I loved meeting her and asked her to send me some stories.  Now that connection wouldn’t have happened if I stayed home!

Speaking of connections, I met a wonderful Economics professor, Bernard, from South Africa.  We talked the entire flight to Minnesota.  I found my first Obama supporter for the first time in a few days.   Too bad he can’t vote here!  We talked about the education system in South Africa.  He said there’s almost 100% graduation rate in high school.  The alternatives are so bleak that people stay in school.  What was troubling is that they are starting kids at the age of 3!!!!!!  I asked what impact that was having, given that developmentally these kids aren’t ready for school.   He said they’re pretty stressed out by the age of 5.   YIKES. 

Bernard suggested I come to Africa to speak to the children.  I gave him my card since he said he’s connected to schools.  Who knows!!!!!!

At the Airport Hilton in Minnesota.  Room service again.  Looking forward to NOT having to be anywhere tomorrow.  I have work to do.  I think I’ll probably camp out all day in my sweats because I’m eight to ten miles out of the city.  A perfect recipe for hunkering down.  More work on Monday.

Adios.

My signing table and some other fellow underwear authors on sale behind the tables.




Categories: Barney's Blog, Blog

Book Tour, Day 4

Blogspot - Fri, 10/19/2012 - 19:21

On The Road, Day 4

Back in my hotel after being gone from 8:45 AM until 8:15 PM.

We crossed the bridge from Cincinnati to Kentucky this morning and went to Newport.  Very economically challenged area.  The facility felt like a high school but it was Elementary.  I saw Kindergarten and 1stgrade.  The most racially diverse group of children I have seen since being on this trip.  The teachers hadn’t read my books to the kids but it really didn’t matter.  The kids were delightful.  Very responsive and present.  My favorite question at the end of the session was from a little girl who asked, “How come you don’t have a boss?”  Very astute!  I mentioned that I still had to answer to an editor but that authors who wrote books worked for themselves, but we still had to run things by our editors. 

Left there, bought some sweats (since I forgot mine) from Target.  Targets are Targets.  I could have been in LA or Richmond.  Pretty crazy.

I had two hours to explore the Underground Railroad Museum which honors and documents the slaves who were moved into hiding and ultimately to freedom.  VERY moving!!!!!  I honestly needed a lot more time to explore.

Was picked up and brought to another school in Ft. Wayne, Kentucky.  I met with pre-K and Kindergarten.  The older ones had just visited a pumpkin patch on a Friday.  Talk about pumped up…. I couldn’t read a book without the kids shouting out what the next word was.  It was wild and fun.  Tearing the page off a large pad on an easel, a large piece hung from the top of the page as it tore.  I drew an elephant and used the hanging paper as a trunk.  The kids were giggling and lovely…

Off to a beautiful, homey, intimate bookstore on the bottom floor of a house.  The Blue Marble.  The first signing I have ever had where nobody showed up….. Humbling at the least.  6:00 on a rainy Friday night, I wasn’t expecting much.  The good news is, I loved the owner of the store and we had a wonderful afternoon together!!!  Amazing and inspiring to see real picture book lovers!!!!!!  They even have a room which is decorated like the bedroom in Goodnight Moon.

Left there and went to an upscale neighborhood and visited the Blue Manatte bookstore.  Really beautiful store with a little café attached.  ALL picture books.   The walls were covered with drawings and signatures from picture book authors.  I was honored to sign the wall and join the group.  Small group of kids and parents, but LOVELY kids and parents.  LOTS of fun!!!!!! 

I have had the privilege to have my media driver, Cathy, shlep me around.   She is a ‘fiscal’ Republican and someone who believes in God and occasionally goes to Church.  Needless to say, we have had some wonderful political and religious conversations.  I have so enjoyed our time together.

On to a book conference tomorrow called Books by the Banks near the river and them I zoom off to the airport to fly to Minnesota.  Sunday is a free day and then more schools and bookstores before flying to Florida on Tuesday night. 

That’s enough for now! 

Adios.







More random shots from today.....  The quilted images are from the Underground Railroad Museum.  Tornado sign is from a school today.  Not a sign I have ever seen before!!!!  




Categories: Barney's Blog, Blog

Book Tour Day 3

Blogspot - Thu, 10/18/2012 - 19:09

Book Tour Day 3

You know you are tired when you don’t know what city you are in.  I do know where I am at the moment!  Downtown Cincinnati.  Actually, I’m on the 17th floor of a beautiful, art deco Hilton hotel.  I was told by my publicist (boy that sounds funny) that there is a great bar downstairs, but that will have to wait for tomorrow night.  I need to re-group.  Still, there were times during the day today where I had to quietly ask, "What city are we in?  What's the name of this school?"  

I woke up in Delaware, Ohio and visited two public schools.   Both large assemblies in gymnasiums.  Thank goodness for good sound systems!  I have been to so many school gyms where the speakers are in the ceiling and the amp is too far away to plug my guitar in.  Both schools today had new sound systems right were I was standing along with LCD projectors so I could draw on my iPad and project the images on the screen. 

The kids were attentive and great.  I had lunch in downtown Delaware.  This is where Wesleyan University is.  Lovely tree lined streets with sweet two story, either brick or wooden houses.  The houses and fall colored trees made me feel like I was in a Charlie Brown Halloween special.  Not a Spanish house or palm tree anywhere.  I’m not in Kansas Toto!

A new Cathy driver.  (Found out that yesterday’s was Kathy)  Media drivers.  Cathy has been driving authors for thirty years.  I told both Cathy and Kathy they need to write a book, Driving Authors!  They have me tons of people and I’m sure, have tons of stories to tell.  We drove to Dayton and I visited Books & Co.  A BEAUTIFUL store.  Low turn out for me. When an event is scheduled for kids at 6:00 PM….. we ran in to dinner time… but the kids and adults who came were terrific!  I signed all of the stores stock for my titles which is ALWAYS amazing because it means the book seller feels confident they can sell all of your books. (Which didn’t sell at the event)  Much better than the store returning the remaining copies to the publisher.  

Sitting with my diver for so long in the car, it’s hard (for me) not to talk….. We covered politics and religion.  I have been in Christian and mostly Republican land.  I am grateful for the opportunity to have uninterrupted time to share our thoughts….  Non-judgmental.  Just sharing.  It’s been really enlightening and much better than listening to the news and hearing about another poll.

Another hour in the car and I am now in my hotel room and VERY happy to have the HBO special, Ethel, on and I just finished room service, dinner.  (Delish!)  Happy to be in one hotel for two nights.  Two schools and two bookstores tomorrow and maybe I will have enough energy to explore the bar tomorrow night.

Adios.

Random shots from today....







Categories: Barney's Blog, Blog

Arlo & Andrew Tour Day 2

Blogspot - Wed, 10/17/2012 - 21:05

Book Tour Day 2

So, after a restless night in Columbus, Ohio my alarm went off at (4:30 AM CA time) 7:30 AM here.  I think I had about three hours of deep sleep.  I was met by a lovely woman named Kathy who drove me an hour and a half to Dayton. (There are full time media drivers!)  It’s FALL here and the trees are in full bloom with splashes of orange, reds and yellows!

Whenever I go to a new town I like to see which neighborhoods would look good for trick-or-treating.  Pretty much everywhere I went today was perfect!  I was blown away by the school in Miami Valley.  Great staff.  Great kids.  I had a pre-k girl say, “I’ve seen you before!”  I mentioned that I had never been there and she said, “I saw you before when I didn’t see you….”  I picked up the guitar and quickly composed a song with that as the chorus.  Lot’s of fun.  Lot’s of signed books.  Great morning.

Driven and hour and a half back to Columbus for lunch and then off to a beautiful bookstore, Cover to Cover.  It’s so encouraging to see so many picture book enthusiasts.  I realize now, I should have taken a picture of the walls at the bookstore.  Every illustrator who visits the store draws a picture and signs with a sharpie pen.  There wasn’t much room but I found a spot to squeeze in a little drawing.  Honored to be on the wall!

Left the store for the Orange Branch library.  The building was built a year ago and one of the nicest libraries I have ever been in to anywhere.  GREAT staff.  (Especially Julie)  I felt completely at home there and when the kids and parents walked in for a 700 PM program.  Sang, read books and did a little drawing.  Signed a gazillion books and took a lot of photos with the kids.  I’m assuming that’s a good sign unless they wanted to have a record of that guy they want to avoid in the future.  Out to a lovely dinner with a retired librarian and an optimistic children’s book seller.  Lot’s of bacon on the two menu’s I saw today.  I was told there are a lot of hog farmers here.  

No craziness today. (Unless you count the Romney signs plastered around town)  Time for this guy to sleep….  

More adventures tomorrow.

Adios

Cover to Cover Bookstore, Columbus, Ohio

Movie theater in Delaware, Ohio

Categories: Barney's Blog, Blog

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