Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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« Part 7 (Final Summary of my SEA MONKEY & BOB Book Tour): Final Thoughts, Most Interesting Question I Was Asked By A Young Reader, Answers To Frequently Asked Questions | Main | Part 5 (Nashville, TN): Parnassus Books (I met Mary Todd Lincoln!), Battle Ground Academy, Julia Green Elementary and a celebrity sighting »
Sunday
May072017

Part 6 (Jackson, MS): Lemuria Books, Rouse Elementary, Madison Avenue Elementary plus Southern comfort food and a poem

BOOK TOUR NAVIGATIONPart 1 - Part 2 - Part 3  - Part 4  - Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7 - Back to main Sea Monkey & Bob Bonus Page

Welcome sign in Rouse Elementary (Brandon, MS)

My last full day of my Sea Monkey & Bob book tour was near Jackson, MS. I had never been to Mississippi, so was especially excited. Thanks to Lemuria Books, Rouse Elementary and Madison Avenue Elementary for helping to make my Jackson, MS visits possible!

First stop: Rouse Elementary in Brandon, MS. Wow, I felt so welcome and was also impressed by all the wonderful Sea Monkey & Bob student art. Check out the door to the auditorium:

and the art on the wall inside the auditorium:

Above: Thanks so much to Somer Holloway (Rouse Elementary librarian) and Clara Martin (Lemuria Books) for their help with my Rouse Elementary visit.

Love these student drawings of Sea Monkey at Rouse Elementary!

I am always ALWAYS super-touched when I see how much work a school has put into prep for my visit. Thank you, Rouse Elementary!! Just looking over these photos made me smile al over again.

Next stop: Madison Elementary, my last school visit of the book tour. When we pulled up to the school, I was SO EXCITED to see my name on the marquee!! 

And look at the awesome welcome sign:

With Lois Wilson, Madison Avenue Elementary librarian.Thanks to the staff and students at Madison Elementary for making me feel so welcome, especially librarian Lois Wilson.

I also loved the creative Sea Monkey & Bob themed decorations in the auditorium:

If anyone took photos during my presentation at Madison Elementary, I would so appreciate seeing them!

It was one of my biggest audiences - around 500, I think?. When I first began doing school presentations, I remember being TERRIFIED. Nowadays, I find that although I still get stressed about the travel bits (mainly about making sure I am on time), I loveloveLOVE talking to young readers.

From the Madison Avenue Elementary website (I just noticed this on the main page!)

Before I left Madison Avenue Elementary, I had to try out the cozy-looking reading nook in their library:

Next, it was time to visit Lemuria Books!

Fantastic store with wonderful reading nooks and spaces everywhere. Plus so many good books! I was especially tickled to see my friend's debut picture book in their front display area:

SUCH a wonderful book. YAY, CORINNA!!!

It was great to chat with some of the staff at Lemuria, especially Clara Martin. She is SO smart and fun and passionate about books for young people:

She's also a writer! You can find Clara at her website as well as Twitter and Instagram.

And hey look! Lemuria has llamas! There was a Llama Llama day on Indie Bookstore day. You can see a fun pic from the event on their Twitter feed.

I had a bit of extra time (yay! a luxury on book tours, I find) so I had fun with their paper easel. And I bought a Lemuria t-shirt:

My media escort on my last full book tour day was Pam McCollough:

Pam was so much fun, and we had a lot of great conversations about everything from relationships and marriages to Southern cooking to familystuff to life in general. She made me laugh a LOT, and I really enjoyed her company.

When we first started driving, I kept hearing a little musical tinkle sometimes, especially when we went over a bump. It turns out that Pam's husband is a clockmaker! And there was clock in the backseat, waiting to be delivered:

Pam and her husband have been married nearly 50 years! She wrote a sidebar piece for Deborah Ford's book, Bless His Heart: The GRITS Guide To Loving (Or Just Living With) Southern Men.

After we left Lemuria, I asked Pam to take me somewhere I could get Southern comfort food. She took me to  Cracker Barrel near my hotel; the food was delicious! I had fried okra, fried apples, turnip greens (it had bacon bits! Pam says the Southerners add bacon to almost everything :-)), chicken tenders, biscuits and cornbread. And we split Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake with ice cream for dessert; apparently it's a classic Southern dessert. YUM.

Ok, so it may not have been the healthiest meal ever. But I had been SO GOOD about my eating all week and figured I DESERVED IT.

I told Pam that even though I didn't look it, I had some of the South in my heart. :-)

Pam WROTE A POEM FOR ME after we parted ways. It's sweet and funny, just like Pam, and she's given me permission to post it here:

----

SOUTHERN AT HEART

by Pam McCollough

 

A writer/illustrator came down from the North

On a book tour she set forth.

 

At the schools, she was met with art and a smile

Because in the South, that's always the style.

 

And the food, oh the food, she found in the South

Fried chicken, okra, turnip greens just melt in your mouth!

 

Then came that double chocolate fudge Coca-Cola cake

Her taste buds danced when the first bite she did take!

 

Her new friend, Pam, was funny and smart

No doubt now Debbie is Southern at heart!

 

Written with love for my new friend, Debbie Ohi. Please come back and visit again! - Pam McCollough

----

 

Thanks again to Lemuria Books, Rouse Elementary and Madison Avenue Elementary for a wonderful last day of my book tour!

***** Continued in Part 7 (Final Summary): Final thoughts, answers to frequently asked questions about my book tour, diversity in children's books, takeaways.

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