Day 9: Kevin Henkes

I have to thank Facebook for my slice today. I was a Facebook hold out for many, many years. The birth of my granddaughter propelled me to making the move and adding Facebook to my life. So it was just happenstance that I saw a post announcing Kevin Henkes would be speaking at our local library last night. My Wednesday evening plans were set. I would attend. Who can resist the author and illustrator of Chrysanthemum or Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse?

As I drove over to the library, I figured the library parking lot would be filled and I would have to return home. What’s that? There are lots of spaces, looks like I’m staying.

Inside the library, a line has started to form at the door. A sign indicates the doors open at 6:30, looks like I’ll be standing here for twenty minutes. While standing in line, the library staff member tells us that people will be dismissed for the book signing by rows, beginning with the front row. Guess where I sat. Smack, dab, front and center. I’m pretty pleased with myself, for now.

The room begins to fill up. The body heat kicks the AC into full blast. Chatter volume slowly rises as seats are taken. Still pretty happy with my position. Looks like we are out of seats. What? You are bringing people to sit on the floor in front of me? Not so pleased with that development.

Finally, Kevin Henkes is introduced! He begins by telling about his childhood. He’s been drawing since he was two. He writes all his books in a notebook, then types them out on a typewriter. He does not have a computer. (Now that’s hard to believe!) He is a two-finger typer and he only has two ribbons left for his typewriter. He’s a bit nervous about that. He’s superstitious and has some quirky routines. He told some of the back story of where he got his ideas. Just as we tell kids, stories are every where, he told us you just have to notice. Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse is the result of watching a six year old girl in an airport with a purse that played music when you opened it. Her dad was not happy about the purse, but she kept sneaking it open to play the music.

Last of all, he did some quick sketches of characters. Here’s Lily –

Now come the moment of truth, will the front rows be dismissed to the book signing first? No, the interloper floor sitters are sent first. Then the staff begins on the rows. As I make my way out, I see the back people making a dash for the signing. Sigh! What’s this long line? Oh, you had the people who didn’t get into the talk get in line for book signing. Sigh!

Another twenty minutes in line, my book is signed and I am on my way out. I try not to make eye contact with the l-o-n-g line of people waiting. Wearily, I make my way to the car. Tired, but happy for the experience.



26 thoughts on “Day 9: Kevin Henkes

  1. tamtomatoe says:

    I’d say pretty lucky to find out about the event. Now you have pictures a post and a signed book!! I know, life is just not fair! Interesting facts about Kevin!

  2. There’s nothing better than an evening spent with an author. And although you had to wait awhile, look at that inscription – To Clara! Will you hand deliver it? When’s your next trip?

  3. Your writing makes me smile! Since I know you I add your facial expressions to your words and the whole movie unfolds before me as I read. This must be the library I visited, too so that detail is added as well. But like many movies it is the ending that will stay with me. A book for Clara and a story of how you got it for her. Ahhhh….

  4. Kevin Henkes is a two-finger typewriter author! Who knew? Thank you for sharing your small moment (regrettably, not as “small” as you would have hoped for!) LOVE listening to authors share their back story and inspirations!

  5. I love Kevin Henkes and my First Graders would devour him and delight in the antics of his little characters. How special for you to have been able to attend. Yay for FB notifications!

  6. Sooooo jealous!! Kevin Henkes is one of my favorite children’s book authors! I have most of his books memorized. I’ve dressed up like Owen and Lily for literacy weeks! *swoon!*

  7. lindabaie says:

    Facebook saved the day! Glad you got to see Kevin Henkes talk and share. His books are to be loved over and over again. Latest book Egg is a wonder. Thanks, Elsie, sorry you didn’t get to be first!

  8. Joyce says:

    What fun!!!! I would have enjoyed hearing Kevin Henkes stories so thank you for sharing your experience last night.

  9. It is always great listening to an author speak. As so many state, inspiration comes from just being observant. When I was still teaching one of my favorite times of the year was when the local library hosted its Author On the Road program. Part of that always included the author coming to the school to talk to the students an do workshops for a select few.

  10. He was at our library a few weeks ago, but it conflicted with something I couldn’t get out of. Thanks for letting me see what I wasn’t able to.

  11. I met Kevin Henkes (and had him sign a book to my students) when he came to the B&N in Manhattan. It was there that I found out how to actually pronounce his last name! He was so gracious and kind. I would love the opportunity to see him in action. Thanks for sharing a bit of what he does in your slice!

  12. I posted today about the joy of an author visit to our school so I can totally appreciate your enthusiasm for a night with Kevin Henkes. These authors are the gift givers to our readers and I love them so much. I know your wait must have been worth it, and for Kevin I am sure it was a joy to have so many fans appreciate what he does.

  13. margaretsmn says:

    Authors are my rock stars. Kevin Henkes is a favorite I haven’t met yet. I find it hard to believe he works long hand and with a type writer. I bet his editors want to buy him a computer.

  14. carwilc says:

    Kevin Henkes!!! He is one of my favorites! I would have been right there with you! And also would have hated dealing with the crowds!

Thanks for taking time to comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.