So, okay, I'm student teaching, and we've been preparing for this author visit for about three weeks. Nancy Carlson is the author of over 50 children's picture books. We have about 30 of them in this particular library, and I estimate that I have read all of them at least once, and some of them approximately a gajillion times. I think the titles I've read the most are Think Big, Loudmouth George and the Fishing Trip and Louanne Pig in the Perfect Family.
I must say this outright, I do not love books. Okay, actually I like the Harriet books fine, and I don't hate Luanne, but: here's the thing. The characters are not cute. That bugs me. They are mostly animals. Luanne is a pig, Harriet is a dog (modeled after Carlson's golden retriever) and George is a bunny. Sure, some of them, like Henry the mouse, are cute. But it literally took me three weeks to decide what kind of animal Arnie even was (turns out he's a cat). I do not hate them or anything, I'm just not enamored with the characters. However, Ms. Carlson does her illustrations in colored pencils, and they are super colorful, and textured. I like the backgrounds and wallpapers much more than the characters themselves. Perhaps I am so critical of them at this point because I read them on average 5 times a day for a week and a half. I'm just saying.
Either way, it was really cool hanging out with her today. She was good with the kids (she did 4 presentations to 7 grade levels, something I would not want to do) and they all seemed into it. She showed them all how she drew the pictures, and I have to say that was neat. Her drawings (though, like I said, not all that cute) were flawless as she did them on a big easel with markers. She also personally signed many of the kids' books and drew a little picture in each of them. I totally appreciated that. Meeting her totally upped my opinion of her books.
The moral of this whole story had two parts: number 1, I'm glad I don't have to read Nancy Carlson books out loud anymore (too much of a good thing...you know?) and number 2, I heart meeting authors!
Now, for your viewing pleasure, an additional photo of Ms. Carlson and I together.