—————————The Grand Four State Book Tour—————————
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Me playing a new jumbo-sized guitar, Photo: Ken Schoemer
    Our 2006 book tour took us to four states and thousands of young readers. We started in Concord, New Hampshire at the Rumford Elementary school. I visited with students from preschool to 2nd grade. Also in New Hampshire, Deanna and I spent a day at the Atkinson Academy. The students all listened to and sang along with my songs. They were excited about my visit and it showed.
    In upstate New York, at Peru Central School, we enjoyed all the children’s ideas for books which were inspired by my books. They also created a time line on the wall of my books – when I created them and in what order they were published. That was a first. Thanks Peru!
    We drove west through the beautiful states of New York and Pennsylvania to Ohio. Ohio is a favorite place. Deanna and I love visiting the schools. The students are always very well prepared for my visit. At Wyandot Run Elementary the students sang my Crinkleroot song to me. They wrote poems to go along with some of my books. They even knew the Rattlesnake Dance. Scioto Ridge Elementary also knew my Crinkleroot song which they sang to Deanna and I. There was a mural on the wall outside the library. And outside of the school we walked the school’s nature trail. We even were treated to seeing the bird boxes being checked by the 4th graders.
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Deanna on boardwalk in Cedar Bog
     Indian Springs 1st graders made masks of zoo animals. We had just visited the fantastic Columbus Zoo and enjoyed touring the children’s pretend zoo in their class room. The students from the other classes had been video taping descriptions of mybooks. One student after another held up one of my books and recommended it for other students to read. I watched every videotaped interview while I was signing books in the library.
    Tyler run’s K through 5 started our day with a town meeting focusing on my visit and books. They read from their journal entries. They recited pieces “All About Jim” and they sang my Crinkleroot song. In a showcase the school displayed student’s clay turtles and frogs. Every door in the Tyler Run School was decorated with projects inspired by my books.