We Almost Met Henry Winkler

Here's HankHere's Hank Long Dog

Yesterday in Raleigh, the ice and snow came earlier, faster and more furiously than forecasted.  Thankfully, schools were cancelled so it didn’t turn into an Atlanta.  We had one of those a few years ago.  I work Wednesday nights so I arrived at 12:15.  A single snowflake grazed my cheek as I entered the library.  Upon arrival, my coworker showed me the radar and how fast the storm was moving.  She encouraged me to get back on the road.  My twenty minute commute turned into a one and a half hour commute.  No complaints here.  It helped knowing ML was safe and sound at her Dad’s house.

I feel fortunate.  My only challenge; getting my seventeen-year-old Honda up the last little hill before home.   Two college girls knocked on my window, offered to push me up the hill and told me to gun it.  Friends and coworkers commutes were more treacherous.  One friend was involved in a four car accident.  Thankfully, no one was hurt.

So what does this have to do with “almost meeting Henry Winkler?”  ML and I had a date tonight with him.  Along with probably five hundred others.  We finished his first Here’s Hank book Tuesday night in anticipation of his Thursday night book signing at Quail Ridge Books.  Winter Storm Pax got in the way. (When did we start naming snow storms?)

Not too slight Lin Oliver.  We looked forward to  meeting her too.  It’s just she wasn’t my first crush.  They are a dynamic team.  Watch this video to learn how they write together.  Lin sits at the computer because she types.  Henry Winkler doesn’t.  The illustrator Scott Garrett deserves a shout out too.  ML loved every one of his illustrations.  He has a funny post about thinking when Henry Winkler calls him out of the blue to talk about the illustrations, it’s a prank.

Had we met them, ML would have shared her favorite scenes in the book, Bookmarks Are People Too!  There were many.  She’s eager for us to start the second in this series, A Short Tale About a Long Dog.  I would have asked for more information about the font chosen for the book.  It’s called dyslexie and was created by Christian Boer, a Dutch graphic designer.  Straight from the front page of Here’s Hank, Bookmarks are People Too! –

“Dyslexie has characteristics that make it easier for people with dyslexia to distinguish (and not jumble, invert, or flip) individual letters, such as: heavier bottoms (b,d), larger than normal openings (c, e) and longer ascenders and descenders (f, h, p).”

Check out the webpage about the dyslexie font.  I hope we see this font selected for more children’s books.  It would be a shame for publishers to not take advantage of a font that helps children read easier.  Thank you Henry Winkler for introducing this font to me and others.  If reading were a challenge for ML, I would purchase this font and type short stories for us to read together everyday.

Fonzie is Coming To Town

Here's HankShortTaleLongDog

ML and I give friends books for Christmas.  No surprise there.  Today, I went to our local bookstore to finish the last of our Christmas shopping.

I learned Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver are visiting Quail Ridge Books on Thursday, February 13 at 7:00 pm.  They co-write the popular series Hank Zipzer.  Henry Winkler was my first childhood crush.  He is best known as The Fonz from Happy Days.  I’ve been singing “Monday, Tuesday, happy days.  Tuesday, Wednesday, happy days.  Thursday, Friday happy days.  Saturday.  What a day.” over and over since I left the store.  YouTube’s helping me learn the rest of the words.

More exciting than an opportunity to meet the authors is learning about their new series perfect for younger elementary readers, Here’s Hank.  It’s about Hank Zipzer  but focuses on his 2nd grade year, instead of 4th and 5th grade.  I’m adding this one to the Books for Boys – Series Fiction for Elementary School Boys post on February 6, 2014.  The day the first two books in this series,  Bookmarks Are People Too! and A Short Tale About a Long Dog, are available for purchase.

The best part of my bookstore visit occurred in the parking lot.  I ran into my dear friend, Susan.  When our children attended preschool together, we saw each other daily.  Now ML and her kids attend different schools.  We always say we are going to meet up for lunch, but finding time which works for both of us is a challenge.

Susan was on her way to the bookstore to purchase books for her niece and nephew.  She’s an avid follower of the blog.  It was fun to provide book in recommendations in person.

A very Happy Day in Raleigh, NC today.

Books for Boys – Series Fiction for Elementary School Boys


David Adler sent me an advanced copy of his new series, Danny’s Doodles.  His first book, The Jelly Bean Experiment follows the antics of two extremely different personalities, Danny and Calvin.  According to Danny, “My new friend is 100% weird.”   Danny is an average baseball playing fourth grader.  When Danny and Calvin team up for an experiment it  is anything but average.  The result the beginning of a friendship… a dynamic duo for a new series  of  books for boys.

Unfortunately, the next book in the series, The Donut Dilemma won’t be published until the fall of 2014.   Check out the books below for other ideas.


Adventures of Jo Schmo by Greg Trine and art by Frank W. Dormer – Wait a minute… the main character is a girl.  Yes, but one book is called Wyatt Burp Rides Again… and she’s a superhero.


Alvin Ho by Lenore Look and illustrated by LeUyen Pham – With titles like Allergic to Girls, School and Other Scary Things, Allergic to Babies, Burglars and Bumps in the Night, and Allergic to Camping, Hiking and Other Natural Disasters…   readers are destined to find a title highlighting their greatest anxiety.  If you want your home filled with laughter, buy Alvin Ho.


Calvin Coconut by Graham Salisbury and illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers – Most boys I know live in North Carolina or Georgia.  A book about Calvin who lives close to the beach in Hawaii is exotic.  Kung Fooey,


EllRay Jakes  by Sally Warner and illustrated by Jamie Harper – Straight from the publisher Penguin’s website.  “From trouble with bullies to the need to impress friends, EllRay Jakes finds himself in situations that young boys can relate to.”


George Brown, Class Clown by Nancy Krulik and illustrated by Aaron Blecha – What boy doesn’t find burping, toilets, wedgies, and boogers funny?  These subjects and more are covered in this series of 11 books.


Hank Zipzer by Henry Winkler (best known as the Fonz) and Lin Oliver and illustrated by Jesse Joshua Watson.  It’s hard not to be a winner with the Fonz as the author and titles like Barfing in the Backseat.   The Hank Zipzer website states, “Inspired by the true life experiences of Henry Winkler, this winning series about the world’s greatest underachiever is funny, touching, and deals with learning differences in a gentle and humorous manner.”


Stink by Megan McDonald and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds – Stink is the brother to Judy Moody, a popular series first published in 2000.  According to Megan McDonald, his own series was conceived when she walked into a classroom yelling, “Stink! Stink! Stink!”


The Time Warp Trio by Jon Scieszka and illustrated by Lane Smith – I’m getting lazy, but I’m honest… giving credit where it is due.  This is straight from Wikipedia.  “The Time Warp Trio is a book series written by Jon Scieszka and illustrated by Lane Smith and later by Adam McCauley, which chronicles the adventures of three boys – Joe, Sam, and Fred – who travel through time and space with the aid of the mysterious Book.”

Disclaimer:  I’ve only read the first chapter of most of these.  But various friends promise me their boys love them.