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One Day in Minnesota

This past weekend I flew to Minneapolis to participate in the Target Children’s Book Festival. It was a great event, in a big beautiful park on a picture-perfect day. 

The other cool thing about the event was that it meant I was finally going to meet J.P Coovert, the illustrator of the CJJ books. I asked him to do the event with me, and since he lives in Minneapolis and designs t-shirts for Target, he had absolutely no excuse to turn me down.

But first, I got to meet some very interesting people. This is Dominique Moceanu, the Olympic gymnast who just recently was the subject of this amazing story on HBO. Also in the picture is Clete Barrett Smith, author of the very funny Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast series.

And then! Imagine my excitement when I found out the original dragon-puffer himself, Peter Yarrow, was also at the event. Naturally, I corralled him for a picture. He’s still a total hippie, btw.

Then, about twenty minutes before I went on, J.P showed up! It was great to meet him. We swapped stories and he gave me some awesome early sketches of CJJ. Totally framing them immediately.

Then, it was time for us to go on. I got a head-mike, which was another first. So much easier than holding a microphone! J.P and I decided to tell a little story, which he would illustrate on the spot. It was a blast. I wish I could get him to come to all my events.

To complete the great day, the tornadoes that threatened to wreak havoc on my return flight to NYC never materialized, and I landed twenty minutes early. That was very sweet.

Next stop: Tampa FL September 17-18.

Happy magic dragons, everyone.

-Tommy G



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