One of the wonderful things about my children is their love of stories. They love nearly any kind of stories if they’re well told, and don’t particularly care about the length or format. They love listening to me tell stories, both true and fictional. Listening to audio books is a favorite family activity, as is reading short stories, mythology, middle grade novels and long epic narratives like The Lord of the Rings. Of course short, visual picture books are just as loved in our home. As equal opportunity story enthusiasts, my kids don’t particularly care if a book was written for their demographic. If it’s a fun story, they enjoy it.
So when I informed that Adam Rubin, the author of one of their favorite picture books, Dragons Love Tacos, was coming to Denver to do a book signing for Dragons Love Tacos 2: The Sequel, they were positively thrilled. Not only to get some books signed and to hear Adam read from his newest volume, but also to meet and talk with a real, live author for the first time. For children who love stories and want to write books themselves, the idea of meeting a published author was a dream come true. The signing became an incessant topic of conversation for days before the actual event.
It was a bit of a drive, but I threw on a Harry Potter audio book, picked up fast food and we braved the Denver rush hour traffic all the way down to the Tattered Cover in Aspen Grove. The signing itself was a fairly small affair, geared towards slightly younger children, but we didn’t mind. Meeting an author was the goal of the evening and it didn’t dissapoint. Adam read the new book, took some questions from the audience, and then personalized and signed a stack of books for us while we asked him a few more questions.
Over the course of the evening we discovered that Adam, unlike many picture book authors, works closely with his illustrator, Daniel Salmieri, resulting in a very collaborative process. In response to her question, H found out that he likes to take long walks in the woods to come up with ideas for his books. A was amazed to learn that the books are printed and bound in a factory. I don’t know where he thought they came from, and perhaps he believed that authors printed and bound books in their basements. He was genuinely shocked to learn the truth. After our questions were exhausted and we moved aside to let others take their turn, it was time to climb back in the car for a long drive home while watching a long and beautiful sunset over the Colorado Rockies.
As I mentioned it was a small signing, but that’s a good thing for children who are just learning about how this type of event works. It was well worth the effort and time to get to it, because they had a blast and it amped up their interest in books and writing even higher than usual. As Unschoolers, our goal is always to find ways to help our kids pursue their passions, and books are certanly a driving passion in our family. For Unschooled children who love books and want to become authors themselves, a book signing is the perfect type of outing. In fact, they’re alread itching to go to another book signing the next time one of their favorite authors comes to Colorado! And if your kids love books and writing, I highly recommend you look for a signing by one of their favorite authors near you.