Event Report: There Was A Tall Texan Who Swallowed a Flea

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Author Susie Kralovansky and illustrator Deborah Ousley Kadair recently launched There Was a Tall Texan Who Swallowed a Flea (Pelican, 2013) at BookPeople in Austin. Susie is a former children’s librarian, and that experience certainly paid off in her planning and hosting the event.

Featured elements included thematic food and costuming, a costume contest (with prizes), a story-behind-the-story presentation by the author, additional insights from the illustrator, an interactive reading (assisted by young fans) and a signing.

With debut author Susie before the event; learn more about her!
With my writing hero, Betty X Davis, who’s actively publishing children’s stories in her 90s.
Susie offers insights into the story behind the story.
Thematic costuming, including a contest with prizes, and refreshments added to the fun!
Illustrator Deborah steps to the podium to share her insights.
Susie confers with young fans so they can help act out her reading.
Each child acts out one story element and all chime in on repetitive language.
Readers line up to get their books signed! (That’s Austin illustrator Clint G. Young, taking photos!)
Susie and Deborah sign together!
Austin writer Shelli Cornelison models the new book!

If you’re a children’s-YA writer–especially if you’ve signed a publishing contract but your first book isn’t out yet–I highly recommend attending book launches.

It gives you an opportunity to support your fellow writers and illustrators, connect with the youth literature community, support bookstores, discover new books for enjoyment and study, and get ideas for your own future events. It can really help to see what other folks are doing, to gauge what might work for you and what you might do differently, depending on your specific book(s), personality and age market.

One thought on “Event Report: There Was A Tall Texan Who Swallowed a Flea

  1. Cyn,

    Thank you for the post & thank you for coming to support and celebrate my debut! It was the best day EVER and made even better by all the wonderful guests.

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