Sunday, March 30, 2008

Animal Band reading teaser shot

Saturday's reading was great.

(the dour fellow over my shoulder is the musician who plays with me when i read. Joey concentrates when he plays. he does smile. i promise.)

more details forthcoming.

photo by B. Martin

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Another Animal Band Reading & Signing This Weekend!

It's that time again!

Time for another reading of Animal Band with me, the author and illustrator, Christopher S. Jennings.

The Where
Barnes and Noble at the Arboretum

The When
Saturday, March 29th, 11 AM

The Who
Me! In a NEW fez and Joey Santori, maestro of the percussion and all things exotic instrumenty.

See the event and location! "Various!" Yes!*

* They tell me they've done some outreach to the schools for my event. All of that B&N's events are "Various" online.

far more fantabulous fan art than you can shake a stick at

comes from my pal, the uber-artist Kennon James.

Rock the Casbah

Click pic to see more of Kennon's art

i like his chin... which my Rock is completely devoid of. nice job on the trumpet too. those things are hard to draw. tubes everywhere.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

further fantabulous fan art!

ladies and gentlemen, i give you the visual stylings of the wondrous Alicia Traveria.

sir thomas

Click the Pic to see more of Alicia's work

Monday, March 17, 2008

Fantabulous Fan Art

my good buddy Paul, a mega-talented drawer, did his version of Thomas.

Click the Pic to see the bigger version and more of Paul's work.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

the first reading.

the poster the gals at Book People put together. here's a shout out to Mandy and Megan. they did an awesome job.

the quiet before the storm.

i hold in my lap a picture of my cat Rock, one of the lead characters of the book. i am telling them about how great of a cat he was. (but not that he's dead.)

the reading commences.

i read. joey plays the bongos. (smile Jensen.)

speaking of... joey santori. musician extraordinaire. he made the reading really work. he was great.

what kind of instrument does a bat play? (some kid in the audience yelled out the answer... not as great as mystery as one would think.)

who's in the car? (and sweat on the lip. vest, shirt, and tie--looks good, but very warm.

...and then i drew... badly. (i was drawing upside down.)

question and answer time.

signing me some books.

i made a coloring page out of a spread in the book. i signed books. the kids colored.

this little girl was great. (they were all great.)

chair. book. harmonica. Rock.

double thumbs!

- pictures by Matt Frederick

it's kind of a blur, but here's what i remember.

the reading went really well. as i said, the team at Book People was awesome.

the area upstairs, a mini book reading auditorium, was packed with kids and their parents.

there were looooots of three year olds. i wasn't ready for that. i wasn't sure what to do with them. following to the advice of my elementary teaching cousin (wasssup Vikki!), i had the kids make the animal noises. it worked like a charm. (handing out some Kleenexes would have been a good idea. there was an abundance of snotty noses.)

the older kids were really keyed in. (the oldest was eight, i believe. she was learning the clarinet.) i look forward to talking to some schools.

i had a few teachers there. one told me it was hard to keep the younger one's attention for more than 5 minutes. they stayed with me for 15 or so. Joey was an important part of the success of the reading. his accompaniment kept the kids in it.

i didn't have much of a plan, just a sketch of what might work. when i was done with the book. there was clapping.

ooookay. what next?

i told them i'd drawn the book--the "oh's!" from the audience suggested i make a point of informing them at the beginning that i drew it too--and picked up a pad to do some drawing.

i started Rock's head and felt the disconnect.

this ship is going down fast.

so i asked them what to draw.

"we have his ears, and eyes, and nose. what's next?"


we continued thusly.

thank the Mighty Lord in heaven that worked.

when i finished Rock, i asked what else i should draw.


...they knew the names of the characters, which was cool. it means they were paying attention.

note to self: if i am going to draw, i should bring an easel. i ended up drawing upside down and it was bad.

this was the first reading. overall i think it went well. at the same time, i learned a few things.

(i'm used to being on a stage and able to fill the whole room. when you've got a precious little girl sitting mere inches away, you have to play it smaller... but still big at the same time. tricky.)

next time i will have more of a plan. i will have a script.

in the end, i had a wonderful time. the kids were great. Book People was gracious.

"we sold a LOT of books!" Mandy said.

i want to thank every one of my friends who came out.

your presence blessed and encouraged me.

~ Christopher

Friday, March 7, 2008

photo op

here's some more pics of people with the book.

in Fort Worth

with Animal Band in your life, you can be happy, like this woman.

- photo : J. Conway

now you see it, now you don't

...from the North Clybourn Barnes & Noble in Chicago.

- photos : Jason Chalker

"(We) just got back from B&N. We purchased 3 copies between the two of us. They only have one left. The children's book lady says they've been selling really well and she was ordering more tonight."

if you want to be famous and have your picture on the web, send me a snap of you with the book and i'll post it!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Animal Band: the hunt was on

Animal Band was not as easy to find as advertised. different stores stock at different times. everyone who looked for it, found it. though it was easier for some than others.

the first book was found by my buddy Mitch on Saturday night at Vroman's, in their "hot off the press" section--it's an independent bookstore in Pasadena.

another was picked up at Book People in Austin.

an email came in from San Antonio, "all of the Barnes and Nobles have it here." five were purchased. (my aunt. she's proud. "The checkout person at B&N noticed I had the same last name---I was so proud, and he was very impressed!")

in NYC (the Big Apple, thanks Jensen) two girls combed the streets. there were rumors of a riot, a scene, and incarceration. (don't you believe it.)

in Fort Worth AB was tough to find, the first B&N not carrying it, the second had copies, but they were "special request reserves." a third store had them on hand.

in Seattle the hunt was undertaken by Girl Friday. with her usual aplomb, she secured it.

this young man the first photographic evidence of the book in a B&N.

i'm stooooooked

thanks to everyone who called, or emailed.

thanks to the well wishers and the celebrants.

it was a great day.

i am the luckiest boy in the world to have such great pals.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Super Tuesday

Order it today at Barnes & Noble. (Also available on Amazon.)

March 12th Wednesday, Book People, 10:30 am, Austin
See Book People Details
March 29th Saturday, Barnes and Noble (10000 Research Blvd), 11:00 am, Austin

for those promised bookmarks, they will be on their way. we're encountering technical difficulties. we should have it cleared up soon.

my sincerest to my Austin peeps and all the goodness that was Staple this past weekend. i was playing shut-in this weekend.
i missed you guys.

keep it real.