Ah-ah-ah… Scieszka! Bless You!

It has been One Of Those Weeks. We realized on Monday that our license plates expired in September. SO, on Tuesday I took the car in for an inspection, and it failed because of a malfunctioning LED brake strip. We quickly scheduled an appointment at the dealer, because it seems that no one else carries the strip. On Wednesday morning, I left the house at 6:45, drove in the type of traffic that terrifies me, arrived at the dealer for my 7:30 appointment, and was quickly told that they would have to order the part.

Guy at Dealer: It might be in tomorrow, but it might take up to five days.

Me: I might take a Xanax tomorrow. I might take five right now.

Guy at Dealer: Pardon me?

Me: Where can I get a Diet Dr. Pepper in this joint?

Add these tiny inconveniences to the fact that I’ve misplaced my tiny scissors (I KNOW!), we have yet another $100 vet bill for Henry, I’m doing that Stressed About A Deadline thing that I tend to always do when I have a deadline, and yeesh. Thank God for Jon Scieszka. (My life is charmed. Please know that I know.)

I’ve always enjoyed going to book readings, and taking my kids to meet authors. Because I believe that Writers Can Be Rock Stars, I was super jazzed last week when I heard that Jon Scieszka was going to be at the girls’ school this morning, as I consider him to be one of the funniest authors of all time. (I went to see him in October of 1998 when Squids Will Be Squids was released. I actually left work early that day and camped out in the bookstore cafe so I could arrive before the kids who would be coming after school. I was 28. They were 7. I won.) Thursday. Scieszka. Yes. I’m in.

Enter: The Wrench.

Harper, who LOVES Squids Will Be Squids as well as The Stinky Cheese Man,  takes classes at the middle school on Thursdays, meaning she wouldn’t be able to see Mr. Scieszka at the elementary.

Luckily, he had an appearance scheduled last night at the library headquarters.

Harper and I put on our glad rags and headed out.

Because we crave high-brow literary outings. (And pretzel M&Ms.)


We got there early enough to nab front row seats. AND, sadly, because the Cardinals are doing the “We Might Go to the World Series” thing, not very many people followed us in. (I was expecting a HUGE crowd. Those stinking Cardinals. (Of course, I’m kidding. I BLEED RED! (Not really.))) At about 7:10, Mr. Scieszka (rhymes with Fresca, because some of you were wondering) began telling us about his childhood, and about his books.


Despite the sort of crap week I’ve been having so far (WHERE ARE MY TINY SCISSORS?!), I sat there and laughed until I was crying. CRYING! I really should read you the story from Cowboy and Octopus that did me in. BUT, if  you didn’t laugh, I would feel all weird. Anyway. After the Q&A session, he signed books.

I’m pleased to report that the book he signed on October 14, 1998 has been signed again.



AND, best of all, Harper now has her first signed book.


Harper's Signed Book ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

33 thoughts on “Ah-ah-ah… Scieszka! Bless You!”

  1. Oh my gosh Harper’s class of 2023 shirt is awesome. I think I need to establish an “authors are rock stars” rule in my house. Well done.

  2. I so heart this. With all my heart!

    We re-tagged our vehicles in OK only because we still had half of our stuff there and we didn’t know the rules for MO yet. Next year they’ll probably make us get a new car before letting us tag our current one.

  3. Writers are “rock stars” in my book too! I work in an elementary library so I totally get your Jon Scieska fandom…My daughter once wrote to Eva Ibbotson via her publisher and got the loveliest handwritten note from Great Britain with cool stamps…and a gorgeously hand illustrated letter from Kevn Hawkes–who illustrated her books.

    I recognized a writer last night while out to eat with my husband. He’s known for his customized Airstreams for which I have a futile obsession. (I entered the Progressive Airstream giveaway daily for months, and did not win! Even though I deserved it more than anyone!) Anyway, after reading Dave Winick’s book I no longer want an Airstream…I want a Dave Winick redesigned Airstream. And blah, blah, blah…long story short, I introduced myself and he invited me to his workshop!

  4. Oh my goodness. Look at those eyes. Gorgeous.

    A local university sponsors a young writers’ day every year, with an appearance and reading by a children’s author. My kids got to meet some of their favorite writers and illustrators that way (Bill Martin Jr., Pam Conrad, and Robert Munsch, among others.) And there was something very special about listening to an author read books that I read continually to my children, and am now reading to my granddaughter.

  5. Ease up on yourself about the self-imposed deadline. Trust me. Nothing is that urgent. Especially compared to authors and kids. You have a Xanax. I’ll have a gin and tonic. Let’s relax.

  6. Charlie loves his Truck Town books! We went to a signing of his Truckery Rhymes book when Charlie was 4 years old. Mr. Scieszka is a great speaker and I enjoyed the event more than Charlie did.

  7. I was totally wondering how you pronounce that, thank you. And what a cool thing! So glad something went so well for you this week.

  8. Xanax – in our household known as the “Wow. Mom’s actually stopped crying…” pills. Well, at least as of late. :-)

    I’m jealous of your literary rockstar lifestyle. But it looks like a rocking good time was had!

  9. We just today (TODAY!) got our Scholastic Book Club copy of The Stinky Cheese Man and the brainwashing has begun. She’s loving it, so I will buy more Scieszka for her shortly. Like Jen above, I also used to regularly get in trouble for reading, both at home AND school. Good times, childhood. PS: I love the name Harper and she’s epically cute.

  10. The panic part about life seems to be going around lately hang in there!
    And awesome for going and seeing authors with the kids! My oldest daughter was about Harper’s age when she got to meet Katherine Patterson (who is responsible for both Great Gilly Hopkins and Bridge to Terribithia!) and still has her books on her shelf even though she is now 14! Those moments help inspire kids to read and write and too many parents don’t expose their kids to that opportunity. :)

  11. We love some Scieszka around here! Trucktown, Time Warp Trio, Stinky Cheese, so many great books.

    Jasper Tomkins came to my elementary school when I was very young and I still have his illustration hanging on my wall. Authors (and Illustrators) *are* rock stars.

  12. So, for whatever reason (not enough coffee maybe?) this post made me cry.

    Also, I have The Math Curse in my office, and my “kids” (all college students) all comment on it when they come in to see me/ask questions about calculus/cry.

  13. That inscription is 7 flavors of awesome! “My Writer Pal” – how inspiring must that be. LOVE IT!!
    The car thing -ayyiyi. Now that my hubby is a SAHD he has done some car-fixin’ that saved us a bunch of bucks – but nothing for which a part had to be ordered. (And actually, I have been sort of amazed by it all – because I didn’t really think of him as handy, until he decided to watch things on you tube and then follow their instructions! – maybe he’s a visual learner!) However – the really spendy stuff is always the stuff you can’t do yourself. Cars – can’t do without them, but sure would love to.

  14. Happy Thanksgiving Angela!

    Well, it’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada at least–gobble-gobble!

    200011–very cute! :)

  15. Thank you for sharing this! I’m looking for fun children’s books. Would you share more author’s that you and your girls enjoy? I’d love to get recommendations from your readers too. My son is 10 weeks old and I read him Dr. Seuss and Sandra Boynton books. Never too soon to start, right?

  16. He is a ROCK STAR! I cannot believe it was not standing room only, a mosh-pit from which no one emerged alive.

    I recently made a comment at work that someone had a “BeefSnakStik” kind of problem and everyone looked at me sideways. Perhaps their children do not have the kind of skewed auntie who sends Jon Scieszka.

    My favorite episode from Cowboy and Octopus is when Octopus licks the bean to be polite! Who hasn’t felt like that sitting at someone’s house for dinner???

  17. Dear Pudding People…I didn’t read all of the post or the comments…but I did see the “$100 for Henry” … just pay the bloody bill & all the other bills to come….if you cannot do this please ship him to me…my philosphy is simple….”long time dead in a box” & if you cannot/will not be able to pay the vet bills please do not get a dog. or a cat or anything…& yes you maybe Ghod will get me for being in your face but truly I don’t care…please correct me if I have interpretted this latest

  18. Dear Pudding People…I didn’t read all of the post or the comments…but I did see the “$100 for Henry” … just pay the bloody bill & all the other bills to come….if you cannot do this please ship him to me…my philosphy is simple….”long time dead in a box” & if you cannot/will not be able to pay the vet bills please do not get a dog. or a cat or anything…& yes you maybe Ghod will get me for being in your face but truly I don’t care…please correct me if I have interpretted this latest post

  19. Kazz–I don’t believe you know me very well. We’re happy to pay the bill. We’ll pay all of the bills, as we have been since the day we got Henry. God will not get you for being in my face, because God knows that we’re doing everything we can to find out what’s wrong with our puppy. Sorry if I came off as callous. Again, you clearly do not know me.

    I will not be shipping my dog to you. We’re doing just fine. Thank you.

  20. Kazz consider yourself corrected, and yes,
    “Ghod” is going to get you…

    PS: In regards to Kazz I agree with Comfort!

  21. I used to work at the Booksource when they had an annual book fair for retailers (when there actually were lots of retailers). Each fair had dozens and dozens of authors. In 1993, Fabio came to meet-n-greet for his book. Because I’d given birth only 2 months prior, I was all up for a glamorous meeting with Fabio (no, I wasn’t, would never be). But he agreed to hold my 2-month old while I took a couple of pics. The result? The MOST AWESOME CHRISTMAS CARD PICTURE EVER, signed from Spouse, Dooley, Jack and Fabio.
    (Fabio was gracious and very patient.)

    Years later I was in a bookstore in Kansas — we used to know the previous owner — and our Christmas card was stuck on the wall behind the register. A fellow shopper asked the clerk, “Do you know Fabio?” and the clerk said, “No, and I don’t know Jack.” Squeeee!

  22. Love John Scieszka (rhymes with Fresca) and that his books came with CDs so we could listen and laugh in the car together. Love that you girls got to see him and laugh and get a first signed book for Harper. You rock, mama!

    (Please disregard pet mailing requests from all oddly phrased and out of context commenters. We likely don’t know the whole picture and I figure we don’t want to, if you know what I mean. Oy vey.)

  23. Why people gotta be so mean? Though on the upside, you got 20 nice comments and one jackass, so I guess I should say “Why do 5% of people gotta be so mean?”

  24. Wow, what was with that drive-by whacko double commenting?

    Clearly some people shouldn’t be drinking and surfing the web until the wee hours . . .

  25. Too cool.

    This reminds me that I have to get out there and get my kid to more readings. But kids’ authors. I’ve taken her to poetry readings and weird things. She will love anything as long as there is a story.

    My husband met some children’s authors when he was a kid and he still talks about it!

  26. Jon Scieszka came to my kids’ school too – they loved it. We never had authors at my elementary school!

    Love that he wrote “My Writer Pal” – how cool is that!?

Comments are closed.