Happy  October!   This is Jan Brett and this is my October Hedge a gram.  Once a month I stop what I'm doing to communicate with children's book lovers who like to know how it all works.  You are creative yourselves, you may be working on your own story or working with children who express themselves in their art.  This is for you!
       I am working on the final illustrations for The Three Snow Bears.  It's heavenly because many of the puzzles that go along with creating a children's picture book have fallen into place.  I had to work hard to find my voice with this book.  A trip to Baffin Island sparked an overwhelming amount of visual ideas, and my emotional response to the Inuit people added a commitment to authenticity.  For younger listeners that means I wanted to show the Arctic culture the way it really is, even if the stars of my story are polar bears!   I think it's good for kids to know that part of the fun of creating is seeing an idea evolve and change and not to be discouraged when you make a mistake.
      Most of October I'll be on my tour bus traveling to cities and towns all over the United States.  My husband Joe and I spend days getting ready.  I'll be bringing an easel so I can draw an alien for you.  We're bringing a backdrop of the tiny planet Mikkop from Hedgie Blasts Off! and there are thousands of posters to be given to the first 100 people in line at each signing and a shiny button with Hedgie in his space suit for everyone in line.  Plus I had to buy lots of peanut butter and jelly for me.  I will even bring art supplies so I can post a new coloring page on our website everyday.  I can't wait to draw aliens, planets and Hedgie's rocket so kids who can't come to the singing can make their own mural.  If you have a copier you can shrink, enlarge or mirror my drawings to get different effects.  Of course 99% of kids can draw a better alien than I can, so I hope my project will break you away from the TV to do something creative that no one else can do.
      If you do come to a signing, think about bringing some of your art to show me.  Look on my website to see which cities and town I'll be visiting.   I'm always very thoughtful about seeing children's art.  Sometimes I think I am meeting the next Michelangelo or Mary Cassett.  And don't forget cartoons - with imaginative characters I can admire.
      Happy reading!  On the road with Hedgie, your friend,

                                      Jan Brett