This is Jan Brett and my October Hedge-a-gram, the time I try to put into
words what my life is like as an author/illustrator.
If you attended the National Book Festival on the mall in Washington, D.C.
last weekend, and stopped by to have your poster signed, I would like to thank
you very much. I enjoyed speaking to all of you who came to my talk and I loved
answering questions. It was a great to see a real live hedgehog as one of the
audience members, and I imagine there were some surprised faces at the security
pass-through. The First Lady, Mrs. Laura Bush and her daughter Jenna spoke
about their new book, READ ALL ABOUT IT, just before my turn and security was
tight. But not too tight for one small hedgehog!
A trip to Washington, D.C. to see our capital, its museums and monuments is
a worthwhile effort, and I was reminded of what a great country we are. The
Library of Congress' Jefferson building was part of the setting for the festival
and it is breathtaking. The largest library in the world, the Library of
Congress is a busy vibrant place. Many people I've met, taxi drivers, waiters,
friends and friends of friends, do research there for various projects. I was
surprised at how many people it touches.
The book festival, open free to the public, was conceived of by the First
Lady, Laura Bush, and it offered many chances to meet authors of children's
books, adult novels, and everything in between. Author, Jon Scieszka, who wrote
THE STINKY CHEESE MAN, and THE TRUE STORY OF THE THREE LITTLE PIGS, was there as
the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, and we all enjoyed the
huge medal he received for his work bringing books to children. We both are
published by Penguin - Putnam, so I feel like we're on the same team!
I missed my work, so I'm glad to be working on HOPPI'S EASTER EGG again.
Ever since I started working on the story, I've met so many people with exotic,
personality filled rabbits. One new friend spins knitable yarn from her angora
rabbits, another bunny, Tiki, lives at the local feed store and was headline
news when she was stolen and later brought back to her heartbroken owner by the
police. Another friend owned rabbits named Lefty and Righty, they lived to be
ten years old, and dug a six foot deep rabbit warren in their pen, but always
appeared when they heard their owner's footsteps above. Some rabbits become
members of the family and are house broken and affectionate. I'll never forget
the red dwarf rabbit in its leather harness that came to my booksigning in
Portland, Oregon. She would stand up on her hind feet and touch noses with her
eleven year old owner, when the girl said, "kiss-kiss".
One of the best parts of creating my new book is envisioning the Easter
rabbit's egg wagonnaire. I have a picture of it in my mind. When I went to
the Eastern New York State Poultry Show this past weekend, I saw just the kind
of chickens that should pull it. It will be a eight chicken hitch, and the
chickens will be Buff Cochin, a huge, fluffy magnificent breed with feathered
feet. That way, the Easter Rabbit can travel very quietly. I got to pick one
of Tom Roebuck's Cochins up, and it was very big, like a pumpkin colored beach
ball, only feathery, with bright eyes and a dignified face.
At the end of the month, I'll be boarding my big bus to begin my tour for
GINGERBREAD FRIENDS. I can't wait to draw the Gingerbread Baby as part of my
presentation for everyone who comes to my booksignings. I'll have posters for
the first 100 people in line, bookplates, buttons, and newsnotes too. Hedgie
will be appearing and will be pleased to pose with anyone who asks. On my tour
bus, I'll be drawing when I'm not at a booksigning, because I want to create
many coloring pages for my website that everyone can use to compose a giant
gingerbread village mural.
If you can come to one of my booksignings, I'd love to see any drawings you
Bye for now,