Kevin (Mr. Henkes and I are BFF)

Monday, September 3, 2012
Labor Day means BBQ and a day off to some people. 

To me, Labor Day means the Decatur Book Festival. It means put the road trip to visit my family in Mobile on hold. It means wake up early on Saturday morning even though I am completely exhausted from the first 3 weeks of school. It means meet the author....and this year was like every other! 

Woke up early. Rushed T and N to get ready (no easy task.) Picked up Grandma and Grandpa. Dodged DragonCon traffic. Fought for parking spot. Sprinted to kid parade area. Made it! 

Was the sweat worth it? The blister on my foot from the cute sandals I wore? WAS IT WORTH IT YOU ASK? Oh.Yeah!

Kevin (first name basis) Henkes is one of my favorites. We study him every year. We use his books as mentor texts for reading and writing. We use his stories for character, small moments, feelings, and overall life lessons. T loves them. He loves the mice. I love the mice. I love Kevin Henkes. Humble, kind, answered every question, loves what he does! When I grow up, I want to be like him. I mean that.
The kid parade is something we look forward to each year and he was the leader! We were right behind Lily-red boots and all!

 T was thrilled, carrying his favorite Henkes book-Lilly's Big Day.
T and I listening to Mr. Henkes read Penny's and Her Doll! LOVED IT! He encouraged writers to write what they know. Can't wait to tell my class that AND where his idea for Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse came from!! Want to know? Leave a comment and I'll tell you! :)
 Signing our books and wishing my first graders a wonderful year of writing and drawing. He spoke about the importance of drawing-loved that!
 But there's more!! Patrick McDonnell, author and illustrator of Me Jane was next! I LOVE Me Jane! (the story of Jane Woodall.) He has many other books like Monsters Monsters! and is the author/illustrator of the Mutts comic strip. He was fun! He also said kids need to draw, draw, draw. 
The Decatur Book Festival NEVER disappoints. We missed the rest of it so we could head to Alabama, but Nick Bruel (Bad Kitty,) Jarrett Krososcka (Lunch Lady,) and Peter Brown (Creepy Carrots) were other big names I wanted to see! Save the date for next Labor Day and join us in Decatur. You will not be oh so glad you did! 


  1. Ok, so where did he get the idea for Lily's Purple Plastic Purse?
    Love your enthusiasm, and dedication! Up early after the first 3 weeks of school- that is dedication!

  2. So, he had written a story about Lilly, a little mouse with a big crush on her teacher. He had worked and reworked it, but no luck. He did not even submit it to his editor. Then one day he was sitting in the airport and a little girl and her dad came and sat near him to wait for their flight. She had a little plastic purse that played music when you opened it. She was driving her dad crazy with the musical purse. Mr. Henkes found it amusing and dad did not. Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse was born! He said the little girl is probably in her mid 30's now and has no idea what an impact she had on his work.



Thank you for your comments. Words matter. :)


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