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10 / 30 books. 33% done!

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55 / 104 books. 53% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

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42 / 52 books. 81% done!

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54 / 165 books. 33% done!
Sunday, June 08, 2008

A Stupid, Smelly Book Signing

Although I have always been a completely book-obssessed person, I have never actually been to a book signing. Shocking, I know. I have had the privilege of hearing several wonderful authors speak (Patricia Polacco, Amy Tan, Ann Rule, to name a few), but I have never actually stood in line to meet an author and get books signed. Something about crowds and long lines just doesn't appeal to me. However, when I saw that the Junie B. Jones Stupid Smelly Bus Tour was making a stop in Tempe, I thought it sounded like something my 6-year-old daughter would love. So, off we went.

We made a stop at Changing Hands Bookstore to get tickets. Silly me, I thought they would still be available an hour before the show. Uh, no. So, we drove over to the high school where the event was taking place. Plenty of tickets were available, but since we bought them so late, ours were stamped "I," placing us pretty far back in the book-signing line :( We ended up waiting about 2 1/2 hours to get our books signed. It was looong, but since we had stopped at the bookstore first, we had plenty to read. DD read a couple of Fancy Nancy books, and half of her new Junie B. Jones book, while I dived into The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart, which I just had to buy after reading glowing reviews on blogs all across the Book Blogosphere.
Since I'm cross-posting this on my private blog, I had to include all the pictures. Enjoy!

DD in front of the tour banner.

I thought the actress playing Junie B. did a great job. She was a little annoying (especially with cymbals in hand), but the kids absolutely loved her show.

The end of Junie B.'s cymbal solo - YES!

DD humoring her snap-happy mother.

The actors playing Junie B. and Mr. Woo stamped books and answered the kids' questions. They were very patient. Too bad they weren't looking at the camera ...

DD and Barbara Park

Completely unaffected by the celebrity sitting beside her, DD shows everyone her wiggly tooth.

Posing with the stupid, smelly bus

Again, with the bus.

My 9-year-old DS and DD are big Junie B. fans - although my son would rather DIE than admit it, hence his absence at the book-signing. I've heard the books criticized because the main character is too sassy and because she doesn't use proper English. I agree with both of these complaints, but I still think they're really fun books. My kids love them.

Despite the fact that it was a very looooong wait to meet Barbara Park, it was lots of fun. So, answer me this: Do you go to book-signings? Are they always worth it? Which ones have you loved/hated?


  1. Sounds like a lot of fun! Since I started blogging I've actually found myself looking forward to book signings. Within the last month, I've met Stephenie Meyer, Shannon Hale, Brandon Mull, James Dashner, Sara Zarr among many, many others. It's fun to blog about them and post pictures. Before blogging, it probably didn't matter if I went or not. After blogging, I think they are a ton of fun!

  2. I'm glad that you went to see the Stupid Smelly Bus and Barbara Park. I almost called to invite Heather to go with me but other stuff came up. I love hearing authors talk about their craft and books, standing in line for their autograph not so much. I do love my shelf of signed books, however.

  3. Your daughter is adorable. I read a few Junie B. books when I was younger, and I enjoyed them.

  4. Oh, my six year old would LOVE to see the Stupid Smelly Bus! Thanks for sharing your photos.

  5. Natasha - I think I was more motivated to go because of my blog, too. It makes for a good post :)

    Laurel - It was really a last minute thing. I should have called you. Sorry :(

    Tower & Stephanie - Awww, thanks! She really is a cutie, if I do say so myself. I forgot to mention how patient she was through the whole thing, too. There were lots of little girls (boys were scarce) there - they all looked like they were having fun.

  6. I usually avoid them for the same reasons as you state. I HATE standing in long lines, but I have been to a few. My local independent bookstore usually has multiple copies of the book signed by the author for sale after events, so I usually just pick mine up there.

  7. I love to go to author signings and speaking circuits. I see it as a great way to compliment an author for their craft - by being there and buying their work! Congrats for what you are doing to "grow" your little readers too! I especially loved it that you took photos - another way to journal her childhood loves. My daughter still cherishes her picture taken when she met John Bytheway. What a great memory we had being there and meeting someone who made a big difference in her life!
    I am excited to go to the Poisoned Pen Bookstore this weekend and meet my grown son for another author event. It's fun to listen to a great word-smith talk about their books, share a love of reading with others and make new friends while there. The other bonus is that I get to buy my son the book to feed his habit -- then we get to share it!! Wahoo!
    PS. My first graders love Junie B. The boys AND girls laugh hysterically!!

  8. Looks like your daughter had a great time and I imagine that she'll remember the event for a long time. You may have just created a little signed-book collector. :-)

    I've attended a few of the events but I try to do them at indie stores where the lines are usually much shorter and the authors take time for a chat. If it's someone I really would like to speak with, I try for the end of the line hoping that the writer doesn't have a plane to catch. That's backfired a couple of times.

  9. How neat! I have a 7 year old daughter and she'd have loved that. I showed her your pictures and she loves the bus!


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