Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Poet & Teacher

Rebecca Kai Dotlich is “some poet,” as Charlotte might say!

My first encounter with Rebecca was several years ago. We were both speaking at an SCBWI conference in Birmingham, AL. We got to stay in the lovely home of Joan Broerman, who made sure that we were cozy and comfortable. In fact, Rebecca and I were so cozy and comfortable that we took up residence in the kitchen in our jammies and ate bagels and cream cheese for what seemed like hours. I’m sure it wasn’t that long, but the point I’m trying to make is that from the first bites of those bagels, it seemed like we had been friends our whole lives long.

Ever since then, we try our hardest to meet at kitchen tables in our jammies, at least once a year. This year, I caught her on my Flipcam. Enjoy!

Not only is Rebecca “some poet,” she’s also “some teacher”!

Here are some photos of Rebecca in action:

Gotta Read–Peachland Elementary School

You may remember that just this past May I visited Peachland Elementary School in Newhall, CA. What a wonderful school! And just to emphasize that fact, look at what they’ve done!

Go Peachland Elementary!

By |June 18th, 2010|Books, Music, Visiting Schools|Comments Off on Gotta Read–Peachland Elementary School|

Gallery of Heroes

The Keeper Tour would not have been possible without the help of many people, all of whom work daily to get books into the hands of kids, and kids into the pages of books.

I’ve included many of their photos in previous entries, but here are a few more who must be thanked.

Not pictured, to my overwhelming regret are Valerie Stein, Librarian at Soundview School, and Colette Christensen, Librarian for Cedar Way Elementary School. I inadvertently erased a whole set of photos–clumsy me. But even though you can’t see them here, they are not to be dismissed as integral to The Keeper Tour.

And there are two people whom I have to give enormous thanks to: Paul Chricton and Taryn Rosada, of Simon & Schuster, who continue to go above and beyond to promote me and my books. You two are the best!

Oh frabjous day!

California Schoolin'

While I was in Los Angeles, I had the great good fortune of visiting two wonderful schools, Peachland Avenue Elementary School, and The Willows Community School.

At Peachland I did a small writing workshop for about 30 hand-picked 3rd-6th graders.

A successful school visit requires a lot of work on the part of many people.

At Peachland, I have the wonderful Dianne White and Cheryl Phillips to thank.

Dianne White is one of my former students from Vermont College, and a rising star in the world of children’s literature. Be sure to check out her wonderful blog.

At The Willows, the remarkable librarian, Cathy Leverkus, and her assistant Stephanie Vahedi jumped through hoops to make everything run smoothly. They were terrific.

I also want to thank Julia Pistor for her help in setting everything up at The Willows. What a sweetie!

And nothing would have gone at all, well or otherwise, without the enormous help of my media escort, Lisa Becker. She went above and beyond the call of duty.

Calloo Callay!

P.S. The day before I came home I wandered through Beverly Center, and found the most adorable carry-on bag from Kipling (which I have to love because Rudyard Kipling is one of my heroes). When I saw the color, I had to have it. So now, I’m ready for my next journey . . .

My new Kipling carry-on.  Ready. To. Go!

Jaime Temairik/Wonder Woman

Somebody had to get me from place to place while I was jetting about Seattle, and that somebody was Jaime Temairik–artist/writer/entrepeneur.

I could not have asked for a more professional, warm or caring escort while I was in Seattle. Jaime made sure that every detail was handled. In addition, she made sure that I had plenty to eat and drink. Yes, she introduced me to Theo’s Chocolate and…

I love Cheddar Bunnies.

She’s also a published illustrator and a dedicated blogger. While you’re surfing, check out Bound.

Jaime is the real deal!


P.S. Did she say cocoastomp?

Three days/Seven schools

From May 19-21, I visited seven schools in the Seattle area. Each one had something special to offer up, from tall trees to cockatiels to a dragon, all of them were just great!

At Adams Elementary, I had a SUPRISE visit from two of my former students from Vermont College.

Anne and Kerry were two of my first students at Vermont, so we have a long history.  It was a thrill to see them, especially since I didn’t expect them.

Along with all of these elementary schools, I had the great privilege of being the guest author for Everett High School’s “Writer’s Cafe.” Look at this beautiful old school, built in 1909, over a hundred years ago.

Great schools, great teachers, great kids!

While I was in Seattle, I also stopped off at Third Place Books, where one of my favorite picture book characters EVER was floating above the children’s department.  Do you know who this is?

And here are the human types who manage one of the finest children’s departments anywhere:

What a great city–Seattle!

By |May 23rd, 2010|Books, Keeper Tour--Spring 2010, Travel, Visiting Schools|Comments Off on Three days/Seven schools|

Mockingbird Books, Julie Larios, and a heavenly horse

Last night brought a major storm to the Seattle area, but in between gales, I was able to trek up 1st Avenue to the Union Bar and Restaurant for delicious dinner of mackerel and fava beans.  My taste buds were smiling.

Better even than the food, however, was this amazing painting.  I couldn’t take my eyes off of it.

Well, I found out a little about Adde Russell.

It turns out that she’s the artist for the cd covers for Death Cab for Cutie:

Can I just say that Adde Russell has a new fan!

After Wednesday night’s storms, Thursday greeted Seattle with sunshine.  In between school visits my intrepid tour guide took me to Mockingbird Books in Greenlake to sign stock, and who should I find there but one of my all-time favorite people, poet Julie Larios.

And then, to seal the deal, Julie and her handsome husband Fernando, invited me to dinner at their house:

There you go, life is good!

Similes, Murals and the Right to "Bear Arms"

Tuesday, May 18th was one busy day.  To start out, I visited two elementary schools:  Oak Hills in Beaverton, and Erroll Hassell in Aloha.

Here’s a glance at these two terrific schools…

No school could function well without dedicated librarians.  It was a pleasure to meet Kelli Lindell from Oak Hills:

And Bonnie Adams from Erroll Hassell:

And here’s a photo of that amazing mural from Erroll Hassell:

My tour guide, Deb Hanrahan, took me to a great cafe for lunch, The Park Kitchen, in the famous Pearl District.  What a wonderful experience.  You definitely have to check out the tattoo’s on our server’s arms.  Unfortunately, when I turned the camera toward Deb, the sun unexpectedly popped out and left her in the shadows, but I took a photo of her so you could see her more clearly.

I couldn’t have asked for a finer, kinder, and more knowledgeable tour guide in Portland than Deb Hanrahan.  Thank you, Deb!

Calloo Callay!

By |May 19th, 2010|Books, Keeper Tour--Spring 2010, Travel, Visiting Schools|Comments Off on Similes, Murals and the Right to "Bear Arms"|

Verne Duncan Elementary School

On May 17th, I visited Verne Duncan Elementary School. Great school. Great teachers. Great kids.
By |May 18th, 2010|Books, Keeper Tour--Spring 2010, Travel, Visiting Schools|Comments Off on Verne Duncan Elementary School|