The other big social thing we did was go to Mo Willems reading on Friday night! Katherine is passionately devoted to the Elephant and Piggie books and has been begging to meet him for over a year. One of her earliest coherent stories was "Piggie Breaks Her Leg," written in kindergarten. Baby's first fanfic. *sniff*
Anyway, I highly recommend trying to go to a Mo Willems book signing the next time he's touring if you have a young Willems fan in your life. He gives a great presentation that is as appealing to children as you could imagine from reading his books. In the q&a, he gave one of the best answers to the question all artists hate, "Where do you get your ideas?" His was "Every month, an envelope comes to my house, and reading the papers inside gives me all sorts of wonderful ideas. That paper is my mortgage." He reiterated in several questions that it isn't about ideas, it's about the work you put in, I think because he wanted to remove the idea that art is something only special people who receive magical idea seeds can do. He started out by introducing himself as an author/illustrator, then asking the children how many of them drew and wrote stories (all of them), and told them that meant they were author/illustrators too. He got his start copying Peanuts comic strips, so he's tremendously encouraging of children using his characters to develop their own stories. Despite the fact he had been signing for nearly two hours, he was very kind and encouraging to Katherine. And he finished his presentation by having teachers and librarians raise their hands, then having the audience clap for us because we're so underappreciated.
So needless to say, we thought it was a great evening with a great author. Totally worth keeping the children out way too late. I would highly encourage you to go to a signing of his, but he just announced that he's taking a year-long sabbatical, so there isn't going to be an opportunity for that for over a year. Well, poop. I can't blame him, since he's been publishing 3-4 books a year for a long time, but I'm not sure how to break it to Katherine that the next couple Elephant and Piggie books coming up are the last for quite a while.
We did something else even bigger last Friday, but I think I will save it for its own post. More tomorrow.