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?"

"HIS MOUTH!"

we continued thusly.

thank the Mighty Lord in heaven that worked.

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

"WALTER!"

...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

2 comments:

alicia said...

It was a truly terrific storytelling time. I'm so glad I made it out. That was a lot of people! The musical accompaniment was a pleasant surprise, too. Do it again! Again! I want more Animal Band!

STOVEPIPE.NET said...

That great Mr. Jennings! Congrats!