Turns out it’s easier than you think to incite a riot among a bunch of elementary school kids. All you have to do is stand in front of a group of, say, sixty of them, all politely sitting cross-legged on a library floor, hold up a camera, and say, “everybody skooch in for a picture.”
I meant that as a joke–the joke being that there were obviously WAY too many of them to fit in the photo.
Turns out I was too subtle by half. Actually, more than half. As the left and right flanks of the crowd began to collapse inward and several kids on the perimeter stood up with the clear intention of stage-diving toward the middle of the room, I realized I’d just made a terrible mistake, of the sort that might eventually require me to hire a lawyer.
I took the photo as fast as possible and put the camera down, hoping that might keep the situation from spiraling out of control. Which is why the photo below, taken about three-fourths of a second before peak mayhem, is considerably more, “oh, isn’t that cute?” than “when will the police be arriving?”
Order was eventually restored, although I think the library carpet might have to be replaced.
That was at Davis Academy in Atlanta, a wonderful place with some really great kids, several of whom are going to be in real trouble if they don’t follow through on their promise to read my book.
Next up, after a brief stop to sign books at the absolutely fantastic Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, was the St. Thomas More School. Another great bunch of kids (hi, Javier!). Here’s a photo from the event, taken by our awesome media escort for the day, Ed Feldstein:
Whoooole lot of interesting stuff going on in that photo. See if you can make out: A) Curtis’s drawing of Bob the Builder as a werewolf; B) the broken picture frame hanging from Peter’s neck; and C) Jesus.
A word of explanation: in his other career as an illustrator, Curtis designed Bob the Builder, and turning Bob into a cartoon werewolf is Curtis’s way of integrating that biographical detail into the discussion of his Wereworld series. Here’s a closer look:
Just between us, I’ve started to wonder if Curtis’s interest in werewolves isn’t also biographical. Seriously, take a close look at that photo. See anything unusual?
There’s a full moon coming. This is cause for concern.