Tuesday 2 July 2013

Jon Klassen and Hervé Tullet visit Ireland: Part 2...


Jon Klassen!
What a DUDE. It was so much fun to be with Jon at the start of his tour in Ireland and the UK and it was also the first time we’d ever hear him speak at an event. Being a double-Caldecott winner and having one of your books currently sitting on New York Times Children’s Picture Book Best Sellers list for its 32nd week has certainly not gone to Jon’s hat-clad head. In fact, his generosity of spirit, his excellent sense of humour and the way he spoke so smartly about books made him a huge hit wherever he went!


 Jon Klassen at the Scottish Book Trust

On top of his fantastic CBI talk (to a teeming auditorium of Hat books enthusiasts!) I was very lucky to see Jon’s event with the Scottish Book Trust in Glasgow his first big event for children on his UK tour. A not unsubstantial 400 children, aged 4-5 Years old, packed into the beautiful Mitchell Theatre, all geared and ready to hear a very laidback Jon Klassen (“400 kids? Pffft.”) speak about his books. During this event, Jon did a projected live drawing on his laptop – which is the first time he’s ever done that – and the kids went wild. They were completely entranced and utterly charming in themselves. When Jon asked them if they were afraid of the dark, they uttered a very firm, Glaswegian “NOOOO!” They were tough kids. He spent at least an hour and half signing books afterward and taking special requests for drawings. 


 I Want My Hat Back
This is a perennial favourite for everyone in the office. What we learnt from Jon’s awesome CBI talk was that he imagines the characters in this book as actors … who think they’re too good for this movie. So they’re reading their lines “No, I have not seen any hats around here.” in very deadpan voices, they’re TOTALLY unamused and they want to get to the end of the story already. It changes the way you think about the book and it’s pretty funny, too. 


Beef jerkey, to keep energy levels up.
Mc Donald’s (and we’re not ashamed either).


Well, that’s a whole other story!