I love this guy!

Klassen's illustration from The Dark by Lemony Snicket
This book is AWESOME!
The thing I was most looking forward to about the Mazza Museum Summer Conference last week was the slight possibility of meeting one of my new favs. Jon Klassen snatched my heart with his simple and whimsical illustrations and I have just been dying to meet him and tell him how much the kiddos (and I) love his books. So, with nearly a two hour break for lunch, I ran across the street to the awesome George House--part coffee shop, part book haven, part awesome sandwich shop--then hurried back to find an empty conference room where I then shamelessly parked myself in the 2nd row right behind the chair marked for guest speakers. 

One of Klassen's illustrations from Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett
I heart this book so much!
I sat and read and read and sat and in no time guess who walked in!? Jon Klassen--be still my beating heart, he's exactly the way I expected the creator of my beloved characters--a bear and rabbit; a naughty fish; Annabella the tireless knitter; Laszlo and his nemesis The Dark--to look. He was wearing jeans, a button down shirt, and a Detroit Tigers hat (from his recent stop in D-Town), and had the very endearing and cosmically teenagery way of putting his hands into his pockets. 

From his Caldecott winning: This is Not my Hat
Klassen shared a video he made in college, shared some stories about his rise from a Pixar artist to a children's illustrator--the whole while he was nervous and funny and wonderful--and even shared insights into his books and reasons why he drew what he drew. I was so enthralled that I was disappointed when the time was up! And bummed that I had to head back to Sticks Library to help Prairie Dawn with her afternoon program. So, with every ounce of bravery I could muster I walked over to the stage as Jon Klassen was exiting and got to talk to him!! I quickly told him that I was a

Lol. Love this scene. The eyes say it--
caught red handed...err, red hat'd, rabbit!
Librarian and thanked him for his books which both the kids and I love and asked if I could get a quick picture with him. He was sweet and thanked me and was more than happy to pose for a picture...and and and, I'm smitten. I heart
Jon Klassen. He's the bees knees!


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