Wow. December has been doing a number on me this year. It’s not like it’s a surprise that this month is very busy and a bit overwhelming but it doesn’t seem to matter how much I plan or how much I simplify, December leaves me scrambling every time. Of course, this year it didn’t help that I decided to completely tear apart my spare room, paint it, buy almost all new furniture for it and then put it all back together again right in the middle of the month! It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time and it’s coming together nicely, but really, in December?! More on the Craft Room later (when its closer to finished) but right now I want to talk about children’s book author and illustrator Jan Brett’s visit to the library earlier this month.
Probably best known for The Mitten, Jan Brett is loved for her gorgeous, intricate paintings, charming animal characters and lively retelling of folktales and folk songs. As part of a nationwide tour to promote her newest book The Turnip, Ms Brett spoke at the Davenport Public Library, an event that drew over 400 people.
Ms Brett turned out to be as charming as one of her beloved characters, full of anecdotes and stories about her travels and her life. I particularly enjoyed her comments about creativity – something that has been on my mind a lot lately – how it is a basic human need to express ourselves, how creativity comes in many forms and how each of us is capable of being creative.
All the time that Ms Brett was speaking she was also drawing and coloring a picture of one of her badger characters. It was fascinating to watch the badger come to life right before our eyes, seemingly effortlessly. About halfway through, Ms Brett brought out the star of her book, a bantam rooster by the name of Reuben.
After her talk Ms Brett autographed books, stamping each one with a hedgehog (one of her most beloved characters). The line was long but the crowd was cheerful. I think it’s pretty safe to say that everyone had a wonderful time.