We went to a reading by children's author Mo Willems in Santa Cruz the other day.
He read from his recent release Knuffle Bunny Too, which I was surprised to learn is pronounced with a hard "K"! It sounded so soft and huggy with a soft "k" (like "knife"!) There is by the way a small reference to this in the book. His voice is deep and he spoke strongly into the mike. Not one kid dared make a peep.
He is also, like his books, lighthearted and adult friendly. Marcel asked him if he had a dog. "Yes", he said, "I have a dog named Nelson, and when he was a puppy he was Half-Nelson." If you haven't discovered his work yet I encourage you to, by hook or by crook. Some of his books are Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, The Pigeon Finds a Hotdog, Knuffle Bunny, and There's A Bird On My Head. They're great easy-reading books for beginning readers. Marcel read The Pigeon Finds a Hotdog to a toddler girl in the crowd while we were waiting for Mo to arrive.
For extra fun, check out Mo's blog, and remember, Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late!