Derek on the Trolley

Come and See Derek in June!
Derek Will Be Presenting At Two Summer Events

Derek is busily painting away on his new book, but he'll be escaping the studio this summer to read, draw and sign at two fun events. On Saturday, June 11th, Derek will appear at the Rhythm & Words Family Music and Book Festival in Burnsville, Minnesota at 11:15am in the Blackbox Theatre. For details, click HERE.

Rhythm & Words Family Music and Book Festival
Saturday, June 11th
(Derek presents at 11:15am)
Burnsville Performing Arts Center
12600 Nicollet Avenue

And on Thursday, June 16th, Derek will be on the Minneapolis Trolley (by Lake Harriet) for the summer PJ Party. This is an absolute blast. Derek did it once before (see the picture above from 2009). Hosted by the fine folks at Wild Rumpus, kids and their parents dress in pajamas, get served milk and cookies on the station platform and then board the trolley for a short ride. The trolley finds a nice quiet place to stop for a summer storytime where Derek will read bedtime stories, draw and speak to the partygoers. This is a ticketed event, and tickets are only available through Wild Rumpus. There's limited seating and this event sells out quickly. For details, click HERE.

PJ Party on the Minneapolis Trolley
Thursday, June 16th
6:30pm & 7:30pm
(On the west side of Lake Harriet)

See you this summer!


Derek Books

Celebrate Children's Book Week
with Derek Anderson!

Happy Children's Book Week! Children's Book Week is May 2nd - May 8th! Come and celebrate with author/illustrator Derek Anderson at a very special storytime at Mounds View Library this Wednesday. Derek will be reading, drawing and he'll hang around to visit afterwards. We've listed everything below. This event is free and open to all those who love good stories and books. Stop by and say hello!

Wednesday, May 4th
Mounds View Library
2576 County Road 10
Mounds View, MN 55112


Michigan Library Assoc.

Derek delivering a luncheon keynote at the Michigan Library Association's Spring Institute, March 2011

Mr. Derek Goes to Michigan...
and Mississippi too!

Derek has been out in the "M" states quacking about his new farmy world, speedy hamsters, writing and illustrating books, and the wonderful, wacky business of children's publishing. In late March, Derek traveled to Lansing, Michigan to deliver a luncheon keynote at the Michigan Library Association's Spring Institute. Derek met so many amazing Michigan librarians and had a nice opportunity to spend a little time with author Jennifer Brown (she had to fly out early) and a lot of time with Australian author Markus Zusak. Derek returned home for a frenzied week of work to finish up sketches for his next book before flying off to the much warmer Hattiesburg, Mississippi where he spoke at the Fay B. Kaigler Children's Book Festival. We don't have pics from Derek's speech there, the room ended up being too dark. But we do have pics of the signings which occurred daily throughout the festival.



Derek discussing stories with book enthusiasts in Mississippi

While in Hattiesburg, Derek was lucky enough to get a private tour of the deGrummond Collection with curator Ellen Ruffin and a small group of the other guest authors including T.A. Barron, Gary Schmidt, Phil Bildner, Roger Sutton (from Horn Book) and our lovely hosts, Tonja and Joy. The deGrummond is a research collection in the field of children's literature. They have manuscripts, sketches and paintings donated by artists or their estates. Derek was delighted to see original artwork by Ezra Jack Keats and one of his all-time childhood favorites, Syd Hoff.



From left: Derek, Roger Sutton (from Horn Book), Ellen Ruffin, T.A. Barron, Phil Bildner, Gary Schmidt


Ellen Ruffin

Ellen Ruffin talking about author/illustrator Syd Hoff while showing samples of his original artwork


Syd Hoff

Another Syd Hoff original from the book Henrietta the Early Bird


Ezra Jack Keats

Original artwork by the incomparable Ezra Jack Keats

Huge thanks to Denise Cook and Peggy Hemerling at the Michigan Library Association and to Karen Rowell at the University of Southern Mississippi for their terrific hospitality, their expert planning and their passion for books and reading!



Hot Rod Hamster

Go, Hamster, Go!
Hot Rod Hamster is Putting the Pedal to the Metal!

Hot Rod Hamster has some FUN news to share!

Our little Hamster Man was just named to Bank Street College's "Best Children's Books of the Year" list for 2011! Hamster is so thrilled by this honor, and so is Derek. Huge Hamster thanks to Bank Street College!

As you may already know, our little Hamster man is a finalist for the Children's Book Council's Children's Choice Award. Voting is still going on right now. All kids are encouraged to vote, if they haven't already, you can have your kids vote HERE.

Hamster is also burning rubber in races in three states. He's made kids' choice awards lists in Colorado, Ohio and South Carolina. Hamster is so very pleased to be nominated in all of these great states!

Also, Hot Rod Hamster is being offered on the official online giftshop for the Indianapolis 500. Hamster is perfectly at home on this page where superfast gear is offered to racing enthusiasts of all sizes! You can check out Hamster and the rest of the store HERE.

And finally, we have some cool, new Hamster art by some very talented young artists...

Student Artwork

by Brett Wineinger


Student Artwork

by Ben Bappe



Blue Burt Cover

Fun with Books!
At the Ames Public Library in Ames, Iowa

One of the things Derek loves most about making books, er... besides the fact that he gets to make books, is that wonderful, unexpected surprises occur along the way. There are those always-terrific awards and recognitions, the always-appreciated letters from readers, the always-cool drawings that kids do and in this case... a beautiful diorama. These are always-amazing!

Blue Burt

A diorama is a model representing a scene with three dimensional figures. Derek was in Ames, Iowa speaking about his new book Story County: Here We Come! in early March and got to witness, firsthand, a diorama at the Ames Public Library created by the fabulously talented Christina Robinson. The model depicts a scene in Derek's book Blue Burt and Wiggles. Chris has great attention to detail. As you'll see in the pictures, she not only captured the likenesses of the characters, but their world as well.

Blue Burt

This is a scene in Blue Burt and Wiggles after Blue Burt has flown south for the winter and he desperately misses his best pal, Wiggles. Blue Burt is enjoying a beverage on the beach and he's obviously missing home- he's built a sandman and is phoning his friend.

Blue Burt Diorama

Chris sculpted Blue Burt, the sandman and even Blue Burt's suitcase, complete with stickers. See the painting below that shows the suitcase.

Blue Burt Diorama

Wiggles is styling in his stocking cap back in the frigid temperatures of the north.

Blue Burt

Chris included the bear's cave in her diorama along with Blue Burt's nest, the swing from the cover of the book and the sun and clouds hanging from the tree. And she included another surprise...

Blue Burt Diorama

The Ames Public Library is in Ames, Iowa. Ames is in Story County. And Derek's newest book is called Story County: Here We Come! Chris modified the sign slightly, but it was great fun to see it included in the scene. Below is the picture that it comes from...

Story County

Many thanks to Christina Robinson and the Ames Public Library!



Hamster Needs Your Vote!

Hamster just heard from one of his good friends that he's a finalist in the Children's Book Council Children's Choice Awards! The finalists were selected by more than 12,000 children. Now it's your turn- Hamster needs your vote! Hot Rod Hamster is a feisty little furball that never backs down from a good race. Please help Hamster out! You can click on the link below and then follow the instructions to vote.

To vote for our little furry friend, follow this LINK.


Derek in the REAL Story County!

Derek returned to Ames, Iowa in early March to present his new book Story County: Here We Come! in the real Story County. Derek grew up in Ames and named his new book after that very special area of Iowa. Derek was greeted with great enthusiasm in the schools as he told stories about growing up in Story County and how that helped him shape the story and characters in his new book.

Kathy Hanson from the Ames Tribune attended one of Derek's presentations and wrote a terrific article about Derek's visit. You can read it by clicking HERE.

Below are some pictures from Derek's visits with students...


Derek 2

Derek 3

Derek 4

Derek 5

On Saturday, Derek gave a presentation, drew and read his new book to a full house at the University Book Store in the morning, and at the Ames Public Library in the afternoon.

Derek 6

Derek 7

Ames Public Library

Ames Public Library 2

Ames Public Library

Many thanks to everyone that came out!


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...