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Derek Loves Student Artwork!

In April, Derek visited St. Vincent de Paul School in Omaha, Nebraska. The teachers really went out of their way to prep the students, using Derek's books as a jumping off point to create stories, pictures, poems and their own books. There were hundreds of individual interpretations of Little Quack, Gladys, and Blue Burt and Wiggles hanging everywhere in the school.

Wow! What a welcome! Many thanks to Carol Nish, and also to Jane Campbell and her family (including Erik).

Here are a few pictures Derek took in the school.

Above is a book about Gladys written and illustrated by the kindergarten class.

Drawings of all of Derek's characters decorated the halls of the school. How cool!

A lot of students wrote their own versions of Derek's stories, including this one about Gladys. The drawings were all very original. Derek wouldn't be surprised to see some future authors and illustrators come from St. Vincent de Paul.


Spotlight on Books

On Saturday, April 14th, Derek spoke at the 19th annual Spotlight on Books at the Sugar Lake Lodge in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Derek was one of the featured authors along with young adult novelist, Marsha Qualey (Steven Kellogg was unable to attend because of weather-related issues). Organized by the Northern Lights Library Network, the conference was attended by teachers, librarians and media specialists from around the state of Minnesota.

Derek drew, talked about his books, his inspirations and his contribution to the Minnesota Library Summer Reading Program. This conference is one of Minnesota's finest. Many thanks to the conference cochairs, Joan B. Larson and Ruth Solie, who really went out of their way to make the event a huge success.



Get ready to Go Bananas!
Derek painted the poster and characters for the 2007 Minnesota Summer Reading Program. It features his deliciously purple gorilla, Gladys, (from the book Gladys Goes Out to Lunch) atop a giant mound of bananas and accompanied by many wildly colored monkeys. A big kick-off is planned for June 14th at Como Zoo in St. Paul, Minnesota. Derek will be there along with the monkeys and gorillas and some fun activities for kids! We'll have more info about this event coming soon.
Look for Gladys in libraries all across Minnesota this summer!


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