Story County

Derek Will Be in Ames, Iowa!
Story County is Coming to the Real Story County!

Saturday, March 5th
10am- ISU Bookstore (Memorial Union)
2pm- Ames Public Library

Derek will be in Ames, Iowa to do two very special presentations about his brand new book, Story County: Here We Come! As many of you know, Derek was born and raised in Ames, which is located in the real Story County. Derek will draw, tell stories about how growing up in the real Story County helped shape his new book and, of course, he'll read Story County: Here We Come!

Derek will be at The ISU Bookstore in the Memorial Union at 10:00am and at the Ames Public Library at 2:00pm. Come by and say hello!

You can read all kinds of fun facts about Story County and even print out drawing and activity sheets by clicking HERE.

 

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Story County

Come and See Derek!
Monday, February 21st
~ 10:30am ~
Wild Rumpus
www.WildRumpusBooks.com

Derek will be doing a very special Tail Time at Wild Rumpus in Linden Hills on Monday, February 21st at 10:30am. Come and hear Derek's new book Story County: Here We Come! Derek will draw, tell stories and, of course, do a reading. You can count on Hot Rod Hamster showing up and there will probably be at least one Little Quack book read. Come by and say hello!

And for those of you in the real Story County- get ready! Derek will be in Ames on Saturday, March 5th to present Story County: Here We Come! in the real Story County! He'll be doing two presentations that day- 10am at the Iowa State University Bookstore and 2pm at Ames Public Library! We'll be seeing you very soon, Story County!

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Miss Cow

More Story County Reviews!
Kirkus & School Library Journal
Have Weighed in on Our
Farmy Friends in Story County

Both Kirkus and School Library Journal have published reviews of Derek's new farmy book, Story County: Here We Come!

School Library Journal begins "In a go-getting display of exuberance, a farmer, pig, cow, chicken, and dog create a farm in a day." They go on to describe the story and end by calling it a "funny romp."

Kirkus also describes the story and concludes by calling Story County: Here We Come! "...a cheery invitation to children to imagine stories or story stages of their own."

You can check out both reviews and one by Publishers Weekly by clicking HERE.

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Story County

Story County Event This Saturday!
Saturday, February 12th
~ 10:30am ~
Red Balloon Bookshop

Story County is a real place! It's right in the middle of Iowa and it's where Derek Anderson grew up. And now it's the setting for a fun new picture book called Story County: Here We Come!

Derek will be at the Red Balloon Bookshop this Saturday to talk about how one little idea grew into a big farm populated with a farmer, dog, pig, chicken and a cow who wears high-heeled shoes. This is not your ordinary farm! Derek should know- his grandfather was a farmer and he never once saw a cow with high-heeled shoes on his grandfather's farm! This fun, new presentation is definitely for all ages. Derek will be reading and sharing a drawing lesson as well.

Can't make it Saturday? You can call Red Balloon anytime before the event, purchase a book over the phone and ask that it be signed, Derek will sign it on the day of the event and the Red Balloon will send it to you. Here are some other upcoming events for Derek's new Story County book.

Saturday, February 12th
Saturday, February 12th
10:30am

Red Balloon Bookshop
891 Grand Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105
651-224-8320


Monday, February 21st
10:30am

Tail Time
Wild Rumpus
2720 West 43rd Street
Minneapolis, MN 55410


Saturday, March 5th
10:00am

University Book Store
Memorial Union
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50014
(In the REAL Story County)


Saturday, March 5th
2:00pm

Ames Public Library
515 Douglas Avenue
Ames, IA 50010
(In the REAL Story County)

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The Discovery

Panel Discussion Tonight!
February 8th at 7pm
Bloomington Art Center

If you haven't attended Beyond the Book: A Book Illustrator's Fine Art Exhibition yet, tonight (Feb. 8th) is a great opportunity. Come check out the show in the gallery and then listen to the artists talk about what they're after with their personal artwork in a panel discussion that begins at 7pm. This discussion is free, open to the public and should be a lot of fun.

Derek has many works on display in this show including "The Discovery" shown above, "The Night Suit," and "Swine Flu" which was displayed on the home page of this site last month. Come by and say hi, Derek always enjoys visiting with readers! A limited number of books will be available for purchase in the giftshop.


Bloomington Art Center
1800 W Old Shakopee Road
Bloomington, MN 55431
Book Signing & Panel Discussion, February 8th at 7pm
This event is free and open to the public

 

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Looking Back at 2010...

2011 is a milestone year for Derek. In May 2001, Derek took his portfolio and traveled to New York City in search of a book deal. That breakthrough deal came two weeks after he returned from his trip, and now it's ten years and eighteen books later. Derek has experienced so many terrific things in that time- wonderful successes, surprises beyond anything he could have imagined and he's made so many new friends.

It's time to look back on the year that was 2010. It was one of the busiest years of Derek's life. Derek saw the publication of three books- Hot Rod Hamster, Little Quack's ABC's and Little Quack's Opposites. He finished paintings for two new books-- Story County: Here We Come! and Happy Birthday, Hamster, spoke to thousands of children in schools, bookstores and libraries across the country, gave a closing keynote at a conference for teachers in Anaheim, California, gave a presentation about Story County: Here We Come! at Scholastic's Sales Conference in New York, met some new friends in Atlanta, paid a visit to the amazing Statue of Liberty, did a number of interviews with newspapers and several on-camera interviews, and said goodbye to one of his closest friends in the world. Here are a few pictures and highlights from the year.

NAEYC

Derek delivered the closing keynote at the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) conference in Anaheim, California.

Derek at NAEYC

Derek gave a presentation to 500 teachers about his road to publication, the creative process, his life as a children's book author and illustrator, told stories and even read his new book, Story County: Here We Come!

Next, Derek invited some volunteers from the audience up on stage to draw Hot Rod Hamster. Derek set them each up with their own markers and then the fun began! While Derek drew under a special camera, his volunteers could look on and draw along with him.

Derek at NAEYC

Their hamsters turned out great!

Derek at NAEYC

Derek had a terrific time with the teachers and the wonderful staff at NAEYC.

Derek at NAEYC

 


 

SCHOOLS, LIBRARIES & BOOKSTORES

Derek spoke in a LOT of schools, libraries and bookstores in 2010. He can never get to as many as he'd like because of a constant calendar of book deadlines. But he schedules as many as he can. Here are a few photos from Derek's many visits last year...

San Diego

Derek at BN

Alexandria

Ames

Maplewood

Arden Hills

Owatonna

Austin

Austin 2

Ames

 


 

FUN IN ATLANTA

Derek traveled to Atlanta, Georgia in 2010 to speak to a fun, energetic group from Scholastic Book Fairs. Though Derek doesn't have any pictures from the actual presentation, he did snap one picture while he was there. Look who's featured on their preschool book display!

Little Quack on Display

 


 

FUN IN NEW YORK CITY

In June, Derek and his wife, Cheryl, traveled with their mothers to New York City to take in the sights and celebrate Mother's Day. Derek's mother taught third grade until she retired a few years ago. She had never been to New York City before.

Derek and Mom

This picture was taken on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. That little island behind Derek is Ellis Island- a profound part of American history.

NYC

 


 

SCHOLASTIC BOOK FAIRS VIDEO

In October, a film crew from Scholastic Book Fairs traveled to Derek's studio to shoot footage for the Spring 2011 Scholastic Book Fairs video. Derek spoke about creating the art for Hot Rod Hamster, which is a featured title in the Book Fairs this spring. The video will be seen by 55 million students nationwide.

The painting on the easel behind Derek is from his new book, Happy Birthday, Hamster- the sequel to Hot Rod Hamster. It's written by Derek's good friend, Cynthia Lord, and will be published August 1st by Scholastic Press.

Scholastic Book Fairs

 


 

SNOW!

Derek fought the Minnesota weather, as usual, in 2010. Snow in Minnesota doesn't seem to fall in inches anymore, only in feet. Here's Derek, brandishing his trusty roof rake during one of the largest snowstorms of 2010. For those of you that don't know what a roof rake is- just be glad you don't need one!

Derek Snow

 


 

SAYING GOODBYE

Many of you know Derek's dog, Friday, from his books. He's hidden in most of the books that Derek has written and even a few he illustrated. Romeo and Lou Blast Off was dedicated to Friday and he appears in Hot Rod Hamster driving the red (number 13) race car.

We're terribly sad to say that Friday died in 2010. Friday loved long walks around the lakes, chasing balls in the yard, playing in the snow, going anywhere in the car, and, of course, he loved treats. He was especially good at giving Derek "fuzz therapy" during those long, hard days when he was trying to get published. And he always patiently waited in the studio until Derek needed a break from those difficult book deadlines. Derek, his wife, Cheryl, and Friday have been through it all together.

Derek and Cheryl miss him deeply.

Friday

Friday and Derek

Friday Sandwich

Thanks, as always, for reading.

 

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Wisdom of the Ancestors

"Beyond the Book" Gallery Show
is Featured in the Star Tribune
Read Some of Derek's Thoughts
on the Subject of His Personal Artwork

Mary Abbe, the terrific Arts Editor at the Minneapolis Star Tribune features the artists and their work from "Beyond the Book: A Book Illustrators Fine Art Exhibition" in her column today (January 7th).

The show, featuring the artwork of Derek, Leslie Bowman, Nancy Carlson, Stephen Gammell, Beth Peck, Lauren Stringer and Mike Wohnoutka opens tonight (January 7, 6-8pm) and will be displayed in the gallery through February 18th.

Derek's painting (above) called "Wisdom of the Ancestors" is part of a short series and is featured in the show.

You can read Mary Abbe's article by clicking HERE.

Here are the details:

Bloomington Art Center
1800 W Old Shakopee Road
Bloomington, MN 55431
Opening Reception Friday, January 7th, 6-8pm
Book Signing & Panel Discussion, February 8th at 7pm
All events are free and open to the public

 

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Story County

Welcome to Story County!

Derek's new book, Story County: Here We Come! is now in stores! Derek's so excited about Farmer, Dog, Pig, Chicken, Miss Cow and this fun, new farmy world, that he's created a special new Story County page on his website. Though he's still putting the finishing touches on everything, he will soon be featuring Sketches, Activity Sheets, Fun Facts and even Drawing Lessons! Derek has already posted a page with a short write up about Story County and a letter to his readers.

You can visit Derek's new Story County page by clicking HERE!

 

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Story County Cover

We Have the First Review
of Story County!

The folks at Publishers Weekly have weighed in on Derek's newest offering, Story County: Here We Come! about Farmer and his friends- Dog, Pig, Chicken and Miss Cow who set out to make a farm of their own.

This is what Publishers Weekly says about Derek's artwork in Story County: Here We Come!...

"Anderson's cartoons are a departure from the richly developed worlds of his Little Quack books; equally accessible, this book's loose aesthetic features characters composed of boldly outlined geometric shapes, splashy colors, and confident brushwork..."

To read the rest of the review, please click HERE.

 

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HBH Scholastic Catalog Cov

Happy Birthday Hamster
Gets the Cover of the
Scholastic Summer 2011
Catalog in Canada!

Derek just finished the paintings, but Hamster's birthday party is already starting in Canada! The fabulous folks at Scholastic have chosen our Hamster hero to grace the cover of their Summer 2011 catalog in Canada. This birthday party is a surprise, so we're hoping our little furry friend doesn't find out. But we wanted to share the good news with you!

Hooray for Hamster!

 

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LQ Bedtime

Little Quack is Now an eBook!
The Ducklings Are Going Digital...

Two of Derek's books are now available in digital format for the Kindle and Apple iPad. Little Quack's Bedtime and Little Quack's New Friend are both available for immediate download online. Both quacky books will continue to be sold in the traditional hardcover and classic board book formats, but for the those of you that prefer your quacks digitally- you now have that option.

Click HERE for Little Quack's Bedtime in an eBook edition.

Click HERE for Little Quack's New Friend in an eBook edition.

 

Derek books

Let's try this again... Holiday Shopping
on Sunday, December 19th!

That's right, folks. If you don't live in Minnesota, you've probably heard about the storm by now. Because of severe winter weather in the Twin Cities, The Red Balloon ended up closing on December 11th. Derek's signing has been changed to Sunday, December 19 from 1:45pm to 2:15pm.

Derek won't be presenting that day, he'll just be there to sign and chat with shoppers that want to give that special gift this holiday season- an autographed book.

Can't make it that day? Call the store ahead of time, Derek will sign your books that day and they will ship the books to you. When calling, please specify how you would like the books personalized. Check your list and mark your calendar! Here's Red Balloon's contact info:

The Red Balloon Bookshop
891 Grand Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105
651-224-8320

Or Visit their website HERE.

In the meantime, here's a picture of Derek on Saturday, December 11th. He marched into battle with his trusty shovel and fought more than 15 inches of snow as it fell... and fell... and fell throughout the day. I think we can safely say the snow won.

See you at the Red Balloon!

Derek in the Snow

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Get Ready... Holiday Shopping
on Saturday, December 11th!
...POSTPONED

Derek will be at The Red Balloon Bookshop on Saturday, December 11th from 10:30am until 11:00am to sign books. Derek won't be presenting that day, he'll just be there to sign and chat with shoppers and book enthusiasts that want to give that special gift this holiday season- an autographed book.

Can't make it that day? Red Balloon is the best! Call the store ahead of time, Derek will sign your books that day and they will ship the books to you. When calling, please specify how you would like the books personalized. Check your list and mark your calendar! Here's Red Balloon's contact info:

The Red Balloon Bookshop
891 Grand Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105
651-224-8320

Or Visit their website HERE.

 

Derek in Schools!

Derek has been visiting schools all over the country since the very beginning of his crazy life as an author and illustrator. He's spoken at everything from grade schools to college classes to groups of teachers about art, life in the world of children's books and going after your dreams. Although deadlines and a busy schedule keep Derek from traveling as often as he'd like, he schedules time to visit with students whenever he can. Below are a few pics from Derek's most recent visits.

In September, Derek traveled to Owatonna, Minnesota where he spoke at one of the elementary schools about his books.

Owatonna

 

In October, Derek took time away from his paintings to head off to Austin, Minnesota where he visited every elementary school in the city. Derek loves the city of Austin. You may have heard of it, it's home to the company that makes Spam. They celebrate Spam there. You can even get it on your pizza in the local restaurant!

Derek had no trouble finding Austin. He spoke at the public library in Austin a few years ago and the mayor came then and gave Derek a key to the city. How cool is that? Below are pictures from his time at a few of the schools...

Austin

Austin

Austin

 

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Watch for Derek in a Video
for Scholastic Book Fairs this Spring!

Scholastic Book Fairs 2

Scholastic Book Fairs

In October, a film crew from Scholastic Book Fairs flew to the Twin Cities to visit Derek's studio and shoot footage for a video that will be shown in schools across the country in 2011. These guys weren't messing around, either. Larry, Scott and Gabe came armed with multiple video cameras, lights and suitcases full of fancy equipment and then spent the day patiently listening to Derek flub his words on camera. He eventually got the words out and had a lot of fun in the process.

The guys completely disassembled the studio and set up their equipment to film Derek talking about his book Hot Rod Hamster and drawing our hamster hero. These guys are complete professionals and Derek had a great time with them!

 

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Derek is in a Television Commercial?

Well, sort of. In 2009, 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...