Monday, November 14, 2011

Rockin' Jan Brett Rolls to Green Bay!

Jan Brett is touring from Boston to Walla Walla, driving across the country in an enormous, illustrated bus! Clara and I passed the bus as we drove to Green Bay on Sunday, November 13. I cheered and clapped and waved, so happy to see it on Highway 172! Clara kept asking, "What's wrong, Mom? What's wrong?" I tried to explain that a beautiful artist and storyteller was near, and that brought Mom so much joy. :)

Jan Brett spoke to a crowded room at the Brown County Central Library last night at 5:00 p.m. She shared with us the inspiration for her newest book, Home for Christmas. She also told us about the tour that she and her husband took of Sweden, doing research for the illustrations in the book. Since a moose is a key character in the story, she took the time to actually draw the head of a moose for us.

All the while, she was sharing charming anecdotes, like how she met a friendly herd of moose, and how she got to kiss one on its big, blubbery nose.

She filled her half-hour presentation with encouragement for all the young writers and artists in the auditorium. She reminded everyone that just as our fingerprints are our own, so our stories are our own. We have unique vision and creativity, she said. It is important not to lose our vision as we grow so we can make both ourselves and others happy with our art.

I was in line for over two hours to meet Jan. She is, without question, a rock star. Her website states that she has over 37 million books in print. Her stories are rich, warm, and deep. I grew up with "The Mitten," and Clara is daily enchanted by "The Owl and the Pussycat." Which of her books did you grow up with? What are you reading to the children in your life?

I know we are all trying to be true to our visions; but on the drive home, I thought about all of our unique stories. Not the ones we make up, but the ones we are living. And I wondered, what artist would you choose to illustrate the story of your life?


  1. Oh my! I can't imagine getting to meet Jan Brett and hear her speak - she is such an iconic part of so many children's lives. My girls adore all her books, especially the Christmas ones, and The Owl and The Pussycat.

    The artist I would most like to illustrate my life would be Tasha Tudor. I grew up with her illustrations, and nothing else seems to capture the quaint and simple country life I lived so happily then!

  2. What a great question to end with! I think that I would choose Tolkien because that was my favorite world to live in growing up. Although, I really would love to go to Hogwarts. Wait, that's a really hard question. And I want to kiss the blueberry nose of a moose! So happy to see you doing so many things, Jes. Your life is so rich! You make me want to get out more!

  3. Wow, that IS a cool question to end with... can I choose a dead artist? I would totally choose Leonardo da Vinci to illustrate my life. And, if I can't have Leo, well then I really just don't want my life illustrated at all.

    Great post here, Miss Jessica, LOVE your groupie enthusiasm! You stood in line for two hours?! That is simply AWESOME that there was a two hour wait for a story teller and author like this, who is traveling in an illustrated bus. Geek out!

    Two enthusiastic thumbs up!