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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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For links to all of my #ImSadBookTour posts, see I'M SAD Book Tour 2018

I'M SAD Book Tour 2018 (DAY 5 - New Jersey): Books, Bytes & Beyond, Traphagen Elementary, Memorial School, T. Baldwin Demarest, WORD Bookstore.

(Last updated June 25, 2018)

With Michael at Traphagen Elementary in Waldwick, NJ. Photo: Trish Bernabeo.

In my previous post, Michael Ian Black joined me on tour and we got to meet Jeff Kinney (Diary Of A Wimpy Kid) and staff at his bookstore, An Unlikely Story.

Today, Michael and I visited Traphagen Elementary, Memorial School and T. Baldwin Demarest, and then visited WORD in Jersey City. Thanks for your help during the school visits, Trish Bernabeo of Books, Bytes & Beyond! I had the pleasure of meeting Mary Brown and Trish during my WHERE ARE MY BOOKS? book tour in 2015.

So great to work with them again, plus (yay!) Michael was there this time: 

Working with Trish and Mary is always such a pleasure. Not only are they friendly and welcoming, but they're super-organized and help get the schools excited about visiting book creators. I also love their enthusiasm!

 Trish and Mary had everything ready by the time Michael and I arrived. All the books were prepped with the personalization notes, and they even asked us if we were left- or right-handed to help things run more smoothly (for the curious: I'm right-handed and Michael is left-handed). And they had mouthwatering pastries! Michael was much more disciplined and finished all his signing before indulging. I took a break partway through because I could not resist the lure of the yummies. I should have taken a photo to post here but I was too busy stuffing my face, sorry.

The first school we visited was Traphagen Elementary in Waldwick, NJ. We were greeted by lawn flamingos along the walkway, and found out later that the school had put out the call for anyone with a lawn flamingo. Parents dropped them off at the school for this fun outdoor display. Thank you, flamingo-owning parents! Here are just a few of the lawn flamingos who greeted us:

Such great welcome signs! (including the one at the top of this post)

Thanks to Trish Bernabeo of Books, Bytes & Beyond for this photo.

Michael and I also loved the posters created by Dr. Jennifer Hoffman and her students, featuring characters from our books:

Wow!!!! I had already been checking out Traphagen's Makerspace Day video, so I already knew they were a school brimming with creativity.

At Memorial School in Montvale, NJ, I was so tickled (and touched) by the art featuring characters from some of my/our picture books. Huge thanks to the art teacher at Memorial, Tenley Escoffery:

Thanks to Trish Bernabeo of Books, Bytes & Beyond for this photo.

(I confess the drawings of the squirrel from WHERE ARE MY BOOKS? made me especially happy :-)). Thank you, Tenley and students!

What a wonderful welcome sign:

Photo: Trish Bernabeo of Books, Bytes & Beyond.

Some more fun pics from Memorial School:

Photo by Trish Bernabeo of Books, Bytes & Beyond. 


After Memorial, Trish took Michael and me for lunch at Ridge Diner:

and then we headed to T. Baldwin Demarest School in Old Tappan, NJ. Check out the reserved parking sign:

Fun AND much appreciated. 

I loved the theme on all the t-shirts the students were wearing: "Think Peace & Kindness."

Photo by Trish Benabeo of Books, Bytes & Beyond. 

Just before we left, Michael and I were honored to sign T. Baldwin Demarest's library wall:

Photo: Trish Bernabeo of Books, Bytes & Beyond.

After signing pre-orders at Books, Bytes & Beyond, Michael and I bid farewell to Trish and Mary (So great to see these two again! Hope our paths will cross again soon). A car picked us up and took us to Jersey City:

We met up with our publicist, Audrey Gibbons, and checked in at WORD Jersey City. I remember so enjoying my visit to this bookstore back in 2015 when I did a WHERE ARE MY BOOKS? storytime for young readers. It was great to meet owner Christine Onorati and staff. 

We had dinner with Audrey at a great restaurant whose name I didn't write down (I will add the name/link if I can find out this info):

LOTS of fun at WORD's Storytime for Grown-Ups. I especially enjoyed chatting with Hannah, who is not only a tech wiz but also an excellent page-turner. I love her expression here:

Thanks also to my friend Gil Hova for the photo above and the one at the bottom. So great to see Gil and Carrie at the event! Gil is a board game designer; his games include Wordsy, The Networks, Prolix, Battle Merchants and Bad Medicine.



Thank you for a great visit, WORD!

 Next up: Bank St. Books/Savoy (Westerly, RI), RJ Julia (Madison, CT) and PowerHouse Books (Brooklyn, NY)

For links to all of my #ImSadBookTour posts, see I'M SAD Book Tour 2018