Living nearly halfway between Oshkosh, Wisconsin and St. Paul, Minnesota, yesterday's decision was heavily debated in the household. Should we go to Oshkosh to see Jan Brett or visit St. Paul to hear Tomie dePaola? Two nearby author visits on the same day. Ah, shucks. One or the other.
Tomie dePaola and St. Paul, we decided. Minnesota is our old stomping grounds, and a visit to the Red Balloon Bookshop is always a bonus.
Mr. dePaola talked about his new book, Brava, Strega Nona! and gave some interesting insight into how a pop-up book gets made. He shared how one spread just wasn't working, Big Anthony and the flood of pasta, until he shared one word with the pop-up creators. Tsunami. Now Big Anthony practically lands in your lap as pasta spills off the page. Did you know pop-up books were put together by hand? (Me neither.)
We then headed to the Mall of America for lunch and some shopping. When we got off the elevator in front of the Barnes and Noble, we were greeted by a sign promoting a visit from Jan Brett. Apparently, after a visit in Oshkosh, she headed over to St. Paul! Our decision was well made...or just lucky.
Mrs. Brett shared information about her newest book, Gingerbread Friends. The rooster that pulls Gingerbread Baby's sleigh is actually one of her chickens, and the mouse that Gingerbread Baby meets in the bakery is the same visitor to a basket of gingerbread cookies at her home.
She also gave everyone a great art lesson about creating three dimensions and how draw reflecting light.
Both authors were incredibly entertaining, gracious, and patient, and while our day ended a lot later than initially expected, it was well worth it. Thanks to Tomie dePaola and Jan Brett from me and the entire family.
Oh yeah. Hedgie was cool too.