Arden Hills Library

Another Pic from Children's Book Week!

Here's one more pic of Derek doing a reading during Children's Book Week! This one is from Arden Hills Library where we had a very nice turnout of young readers and book lovers. Many thanks to Nicole Brinkman for sending along the pic!



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Booklist Reviews Hot Rod Hamster

Booklist recently published a terrific review of Hot Rod Hamster. They say, "Junior racing fans will get a vicarious thrill with this story of a tiny driver who dares to burn rubber with the big boys." They summarize the story and then go on to say, "Anderson's acrylics are boisterously large, colorful, and off-kilter- just like his swaggering protagonist."

To read the full review, click HERE.


Derek at Maplewood Lib

Maplewood Library

Children's Book Week!

It was a gray, rainy week, but Derek had a lot of fun at his events during Children's Book Week! The two pictures above are from Maplewood Library. The first is Derek reading one of his books and the second was taken as Derek answered a question from a budding reader.

Many thanks to Monica at Maplewood Library, Nicole at Arden Hills Library and to the fine folks at Wild Rumpus Books in Linden Hills!



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You Have Three Chances to See Derek
During Children's Book Week!

Come one, come all! Derek will be doing readings at three locations around the Twin Cities to celebrate Children's Book Week 2010. Derek will be presenting his newest book Hot Rod Hamster in addition to drawing and reading some of his other stories. Bring your kids, bring your questions, bring yourselves- it will be great fun!

Times and locations are listed below:


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Monday, May 10th
Maplewood Library
3025 Southlawn Drive
Maplewood, MN 55109


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Thursday, May 13th

Arden Hills Library
1941 W. County Road E-2
Arden Hills, MN 55112


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Saturday, May 15th

Wild Rumpus Books
2720 West 43rd Street
Minneapolis, MN 55410

Visit Wild Rumpus Online



A BOOKY Spring!

Spring is always busy in the world of children's publishing. Derek has had a new book published nearly every spring for the past 8 years. This spring was no exception. With the publication of Hot Rod Hamster, Derek's 15th original book, he hit the road and has not only been doing bookstore and library appearances, but he's been making the rounds in schools as well. Below are a few photos from Derek's journey over the past months.


In February, Derek launched his new book Hot Rod Hamster at one of his all time favorite bookstores, the Red Balloon Bookshop. If you ever make it to the Twin Cities with your children, it would be well worth your time to pay a visit to the Red Balloon. They know children's books and they take very good care of their customers. Here's a LINK.

Red Balloon


Here's Cady, who used the Hot Rod Hamster activity sheet to demonstrate her obvious artistic talents. I think we can safely say that Cady could grow up to be a children's book illustrator or maybe even a race car designer!

Cady drawing


In early March, Derek traveled to Wisconsin to visit Lien Elementary school where he encountered a welcome that got the day off to a rip-roaring start!

Lien Elem


In the main entrance, the teachers had assembled a race track and lined it with cars of every shape, size and color- designed and made by all the students in the school. There's some real imagination at Lien Elementary!

Lien Elem 2

This was Derek's second visit to Lien Elementary school. The first was six years ago. They do such a nice job there. Special thanks to JoNell Leadholm (Media Specialist) and Cheryl Meyer (School Principal). They are two of the finest educators a school could ask for.


In mid March, Derek escaped the Minnesota winter and traveled to sunny San Diego, California where he spoke to several teacher groups and at a school on St. Patrick's Day.



There's a lot of green in that audience! Derek wore a little green too, he wasn't going to risk getting pinched!



Derek finished out the week by doing a reading and book signing at Barnes and Noble in Escondido, California...

Drawing HRH


Derek returned to a finally-thawed Minnesota and after spending some crucial time in the studio to tie up some odds and ends for his latest book, he headed off to Alexandria, Minnesota where he spoke to every elementary school in the city.



One of the most fulfilling parts of school visits (aside from visiting with the students) is knowing that they've been inspired by your books. The teachers in Alexandria did a great job of preparing the students- encouraging them to read, write and draw before Derek's visit!

Student Drawing

Student Drawing 2


And there isn't a better sight for an author than walking into a school and seeing something like this...

School Welcome 2


Derek left his new friends in Alexandria and traveled to his hometown of Ames, Iowa where he visited more schools...



Derek spoke to thousands of students throughout the week. One of his favorite things about visiting with students is the question and answer period. Children come up with some of the most profound questions you could imagine. One of his favorite questions, to this day, was asked by a second grader a year or so ago. She asked, "Why do books have to end?"

Meeker pic


On Friday, Kathy Hanson from the Ames Tribune came to Kate Mitchell Elementary school where Derek was presenting. Her article appeared on the front page of the paper the next morning. Many thanks to Kathy for her beautiful write-up. We've provided a link to the article HERE.

Derek finished out the week with two book signings on Saturday. The first was at University Book Store in the Memorial Union and the second was at Ames Public Library, a place where Derek spent a lot of time when he was growing up.

Derek at UBS

And many, many thanks to you, the readers, for embracing our little Hot Rod Hamster. Your reading is the fuel that keeps his engine revving!

Vroom! Vroom!



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Hot Rod Hamster is on the
Publishers Weekly Bestseller List!

Thank you, thank you to all of you Hamster fans out there. Hot Rod Hamster hit the Publishers Weekly bestseller list on March 15th! Weighing in at #14, our Hamster man is leaping for joy. Many thanks to all of you Hamster fans for cheering our Hamster man on!!



Derek is in a Television Commercial?

Well, sort of. Last fall, Derek traveled back to his alma mater in Ames, Iowa to receive a very special award- the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award presented by the Iowa State University Alumni Association. While Derek was attending the awards luncheon, he was asked by a representative from the university if he would be willing to have a very brief version of his college experience featured in a commercial. Derek had a great experience at Iowa State, and is so pleased with what they put together.

Posted here for your viewing pleasure...