I had the privilege of meeting a few more such teachers and librarians this past week at Tulsa Elementary's annual Festival of Authors. One in particular is both author and educator.
Adam T. Newman of MiLo Ink Books reached out to me due to our shared involvement in the Orange County Children's Book Festival. Turns out Adam is not only a children's book author, he's one of the teachers at Tulsa Elementary.
This year, he decided not only to organize the school's festival of authors, but expand it.
He succeeded - tripling the number of authors involved from the previous years.
If you haven't checked out his Mother's Choice award-winning books, I highly recommend it. Truly a great guy and educator.
Adam wasn't the only author rocking his presentations to the students. Here are just a few other authors I met and connected with at this amazing event:
First, I probably creeped author Susan Schaefer Bernardo & illustrator Courtenay Fletcher half to death. After seeing the co-author credit on their book, The Rhino Who Swallowed A Storm, I said "You know LeVar Burton?!?"
I grew up on Reading Rainbow, (and still use the pizza recipe, LeVar!), and still attribute the slavery in my Salt series to the influence of watching LeVar portray Kunta Kinte in Roots when I was in 5th grade. So you can imagine how much I loved hearing both Susan and Courtenay describe LeVar as the most amazing, collobrative, and overall gracious guy alive. Made. My. Day.
It didn't hurt that both Susan and Courtenay were equally amazing, kind, and gracious to this little fanboy eager to learn more. Check out their book, yo. It's awesome.
Speaking of Salt series, I finally got a chance to meet and chat with the whimsical author/mermaid Sheri Fink. She has some fantastic books teaching children the importance of self-confidence and making new friends. (As you can probably imagine, I especially like her book, The Little Seahorse.
I also had the chance to thank author Elise Allen for writing quality content that my kid loves. You might have heard of a couple shows she's written for, say Disney's The Lion Guard, and Jim Henson's Sid The Science Kid.
Seriously. We watch those shows every single day at the Galvin house.
Also, she has a killer new book series out - Gabby Duran and The Unsittables - that I can't wait to check out.
There was also author/illustrator A.J. Cosmo, who gives away tons of free stuff - (coloring books, lesson plans, etc.) and has written/illustrated even more.
Author/illustrator/musician Nathan Minier and I had a fun debate about which celebrity we're often accused of looking like. Not for nothing, but I think that I won that debate - he's Dominic Monaghan AKA Charlie from LOST, or Merry from LOTR. (Don't believe me? Check this out.
One of my favorites though (and I heard this from EVERY student too) was Joshua Hauke. Why? 1) He's awesome. 2) His book The Sock-Sucking Bandit had me cracking up. If you liked Calvin & Hobbes as a kid (or like me, still do), check out Josh's site. This guy rocks.
Big thanks again to all the authors and faculty who made Tulsa Elementary's Festival of Authors such an amazing event! Until next time!
Author. Actor. Rascal.