Monday, April 23, 2012


There is a lot to share from this past week of the PA One Book Tour. It was an exhilarating and exhausting week. One of the many highlights was meeting this man. David Newell aka Mr. McFeely at the Pittsburgh Children's Museum! I was a big fan of Mr. Rogers neighborhood and I was excited to get his autograph and also to give him a signed copy of Stop Snoring, Bernard!
Picked up a whole bunch of Mr. Rogers ephemera.

I learned a lot from Mr. Rogers and many of his topics are just as poignant today as they were in the 70's. The back of Mr. McFeely's business card has a few of the big ones.
I would like to think that Mr. Roger's would approve of Bernard and especially Grumpy Gilles and the other otters accepting Bernard as he is.

Friday, April 20, 2012


Over the top event at Newlonsburg Elementary! Thank you to Carol and everyone involved. This was next level!

                                       Each of the five Pre-k's arrived as a different animal from the book.

           There were even real (stuffed) PA river otters courtesy of the PA Game Commission.
                          Hopefully I will get more photos os the amazing murals the kids made.


A Raft of otter puppets waits to get back on the bus. 
All this and I got to hold an actual Giraffe Phalanges, it weighed like 25 pounds. Apparently they can kill a lion with one kick?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Week 2 went out with a wiggle, I finally got the elusive Otter Dance captured on video. Here it is performed by 140 kindergartners and their teachers from Berks County.

Another awesome thing about libraries. Their trophy cases are filled, not with trophies, but with books! and fuzzy animal friends. The croc on the bottom has teeth that zip up.

It's been really cool to see all the different creative ways that the librarians decorate the library with Bernard themed art. These Z's go on for 20 feet.
Also the tiles on the wall were created by kids and they are visual depictions of the Dewey Decimal catalogue.

Thursday, April 12, 2012



Yesterday was unprecedented. Not only was it National Bookmobile Day, I had the privilege of reading Bernard to 650 kindergartners from Upper Darby.

It was also the debut of the "Otter Dance", a dance that is sweeping kindergartens across the state. Actually it's a free-for-all wiggle dance based on the 45 King 900 Number break. You may recall this as the Ed Lover Dance from the golden age of Yo! Raps.

Sounds amazing right?

Sadly, I pressed the wrong button on my phone and stopped recording 350 kids dancing the otter dance, I'm hoping someone there has a video and I can post it later.

But I DO have this amazing video of the Bernard song that the kids sang for me! Talk about  Warm and Fuzzy!

Thanks to Charlotte Ryan for hosting and the amazing goody bags, including some official Sellers Memorial Free Public Library  Bernard Tees!

Also thanks to Charlotte's daughter Sarah, an up and coming illustrator herself, for handpainting all these Bernard banners.

Monday, April 9, 2012


This past week was a break from the PA One Book Tour and from my sons' preschool. So we caught up on some things. Got some posters and books out that I have been meaning to for a bit.
Intern Teddy did a great job hustling them to the Post Office. Intern Oskar insisted that he hand the one going to Bob Shea to the Postman himself.
We also went to the Zoo and while I was waiting for Intern Oskar to pee, I saw these vintage Zoo posters, been in this building dozens of times and never saw them before, so that was a treat. 
And it was a treat to hang with my little guys as I won't be seeing much of them in the coming weeks.

Friday, April 6, 2012


As I prepare for Week 2 of the PA One Book tour. I posted some images from Week 1 that were a reflection of the week.
Lydia outside the Capitol.
Breakfast was handcramps with a side of french toast.
I wish I knew how to play Shuffleboard.

Line up of otters ready to be crafted.
Do not mess with these kids.

Hershey, PA wasn't made out of chocolate as I imagined as a kid but it was still pretty fun.

Turns out there's all kinds of otter books out there that you otter read. Even one on manners by Laurie Keller. Her Arnie the Donut book is a standard in our house
A raft of otter puppets.
Amazing house outside Harrisburg.
Some library bathroom graffiti. I'm not sure if the Illuminati just stopped by here to pee and check out a book, or they were stopped in this library from whatever it is the Illuminati like to do?
And Lastly, Goatmobile?

Thursday, April 5, 2012


That was probably the most cohesive thought that I uttered during my speech at the PA One Book Kick-off. (BTW I would never compare myself to the genius of that Shel it was a joke about our having the same haircuts) It was held in the rotunda of the Capitol Building in Harrisburg and the majesty of the rotunda brought my butterflies to new heights. Fortunately you can't see all the shaking and sweating I'm doing in these photos.

L to R  Debbie Malone PaLA President, Alice Lubrecht, Interim Deputy Secretary for Commonwealth Libraries, Me, Frank Buzydlowski, Director of State Government Affairs with Verizon Pennsylvania, and Dr. Barbara Minzenberg, Deputy Secretary for Office of Child Development and Early Learning.
My wife Lydia who without, none of this would have happened.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


This past week one of my childhood dreams was fulfilled. Not the one where I find the Loch Ness monster. A bigger one than that, driving a Bookmobile! Thanks to the librarians of Lancaster County I was able to do that. Well, okay. I got to sit in the drivers seat but I didn't actually drive, but that's pretty close!

It was really cool! Especially when I realized it had a loudspeaker system mounted outside.
I kept trying to get one of the librarians to Shsshh!!! the whole parking lot, but they were too nice to do that.
See!  Way too nice!
This is where a bright young lady corrected my pronunciation of Grumpy Gilles. The way I say it, it rhymes with Miles. She told me the real way is Gills, like fish have.
Learn something new everyday I suppose.
Thank you to the Lancaster Librarians for a great day, delicious lunch and a dream filled in between.

Monday, April 2, 2012


Nice little piece skillfully shot and edited by Randy Flaum from the York Dispatch. But even his magic can't hide the fact that I am sick as a dog and barely have my voice back. That's the DayQuill talking all slow and syrupy. The kids were great, so patient and well behaved even though they showed up a half hour early. Thank you Peggy for getting me around and thank you York, PA!