Scenes From a Book Tour
by Guest Blogger Stacy McAnulty
In October, my debut picture book, DEAR SANTASAURUS, was released. Since then, I’ve been visiting schools and bookstores. It’s been great meeting hundreds of kids and families. It’s also been funny and emotional. Here are some of my favorite moments.
I went to visit my nephew’s school. The 2nd graders knew that I was related to their classmate, but one little girl couldn’t remember how. She pointed to my nephew and asked me, “Are you his grandma?” I’m only 30-something. I guess that’s not too young for gray-covering hair dye and wrinkle cream. I got some on the way home.
At that same school, a boy asked me, “Are you famous?” I told him no, not really. He wanted my autograph anyway. “In case you get famous someday.”
I find preschool visits to be a fun challenge. The 4 and 5 year olds can’t sit still very long, and I’m also distracted by all the nose picking. (I guess it’s a habit that comes with all that not-being-able-to-sit-still.) After reading and playing dinosaur games with the group for 20 minutes, I asked if anyone had questions. A little boy raised his hand and asked, “Can I give you a hug?” Sure! A second later I was mobbed by preschoolers wanting hugs. My eyes welled up. I didn’t even think about all the nose picking germs until after.
While I was doing a signing at a bookstore, a boy asked me if he could read my book before buying it. Of course! So he went to the corner and read the book quietly. When he returned it to me, I asked him what he thought about it. “It’s pretty good. But I don’t like dinosaurs.” Then he was gone.
At another book store event, a young childless couple was wandering around the kids section. They must have thought I was an employee (even though I was standing behind a table stacked with DEAR SANTASAURUS books and a sign that read, Meet the Author). The woman asked me, “Can you recommend a picture book to give as a gift?” Long story short, I’m not a good self-promoter. The couple ended up buying Mustache Baby by Bridget Heos. I gave them a free dinosaur sticker.
What’s the biggest dinosaur? At an event at a children’s museum, I told the kids that it was the Argentinosaurus. (I just looked it up, and I may be wrong on this. But the Argentinosaurus is in the top three.) Well, one little boy insisted it was the T-Rex. For five minutes, we debated. I told him the T-Rex was large, powerful and is very popular, but T-Rex is not the biggest. The boy told me I was wrong. Over and over and over. Eventually, I conceded. I think it was the right move.
And now for the daily cookie…
Double-Decker M&M Bars
(visit http://stacymcanulty.blogspot.com/ for the recipe)
Stacy lives in North Carolina with her three children, two dogs, and one husband. She loves books, Christmas, cookies, and a good debate about dinosaurs. DEAR SANTASAURUS (Boyd Mills Press, 2013) is her first picture book. For more information on Stacy, please visit www.stacymcanulty.com