After NCTE, I was sick as a dog -- so I basically slept through Kerry's birthday and Thanksgiving (sorry baby girl). Then I headed to the Washington Coast for a week of school visits at Edmonds, Seattle and Bellevue elementary schools. I was a little bit altered at the first three schools, thanks to three different over the counter cold meds I took to quiet all my symptoms. But I think I did a good job, even with the floating sensation. I sure loved the kids and the teachers and the sensational librarians who coordinated the whole thing. Ann Bell-Hayes and her kids at Cedar Way made this and other signs to welcome me. And boy, did I feel welcome. Ann even picked me up at the airport, snuffy nose and all. Bless her for pretending not to notice how sick I was. : )
Ann's friend Kristine McLane at North Beach Elementary in Seattle took my picture at the close of her school day for a new READ poster. She warned me my curly hair wouldn't look perfect. I reminded her I'd never had a perfect hair day with that curly hair, so I'd be fine with it. And boy do I love the poster she created. Thanks, Kristine -- for the poster and the cool ride from Seattle to Bellevue. I had no idea how fast paced things were in these high energy cities until you gave me the tour! FUN!
On my last day, I visited Linda Peterson at Woodridge Elementary. Parent volunteer Melanie Pang picked me up and took me to the school, and the fun never stopped. Melanie and I are Facebook friends now. Neat! The kids were so wonderfully prepared, they knew just what to expect. That was true at all five schools, and I appreciate it so much. One of Linda's students -- a Russian girl named Madino -- had done a review of my new book, TIGER IN TROUBLE so I posed for a picture beside it. Madino gave me FIVE STARS so she's my new best friend. How great is that?
Thank you, Ann Swenson at Madrona School, Joan Maybank at Beverly Elementary, Ann Hayes-Bell at Cedar Way Elementary, Kristine McLane at North Beach Elementary and Linda Peterson at Woodridge Elementary. You ignored my sniffles and, together, we made it a week to remember. I will forever be grateful -- truly. You are the BEST.