School Visits

On “Shakey” Ground

I did a school visit at Shaker Lane Elementary in Littleton, MA today. (Shakey is the Shaker Lane mascot. See what I did there?) I talked to the kindergartners and transitional classes, and they were a super enthusiastic and receptive bunch.

school visit photo
“Sorry you guys don’t like funny stories, but that’s all I have.”

I tried to focus a bit on how much revision goes into writing, since one of the teachers had mentioned to me in an email that they were working on this idea in class. Luckily, I tend to revise like crazy, so I had a few things to say.

head changes
Pointing out how Lenny’s head changed from my first drawing of him to the final product. Mel’s head didn’t change as much. It’s always been a bit of a melon, just like my head.

When you say, “Well, that’s it, thanks everyone,” and someone loudly yells, “That was AWESOME!” it tends to be a sign of a successful visit. Thanks, Shaker Lane!

16 facts about me

I recently got an email from a student who needed to know 16 facts about me for a school project. He said the facts could be anything, so here is what I gave him, in case you find yourself faced with a similar project.

Erik P. Kraft . . .

1. Has 6 pet chickens (named Boss Chicken, Suzy Creamcheese, Henny Penny, and The Mandrell Sisters)

2. Has eaten a whole pie on his own on more than one occasion

3. Has been writing ever since he could hold a pencil

4. Is vegetarian

5. Has a son who thinks he is a weirdo (but who thinks being a weirdo is funny)

6. Once had gigantic Elvis sideburns

7. Often performs comedy (or what he thinks is comedy)

8. Can drive a stick shift

9. Went to UMass Amherst

10. Started writing children’s books after taking a class taught by Jack Gantos

11. Started illustrating his stories after having Chris Raschka as an advisor in grad school, who suggested he do it

12. Once convinced a friend in school that Impressionist art was when you carve pictures into potatoes and stamp them in ink

13. Is not superstitious about the number 13

14. Had a picture of Mr. Rogers in his high school locker

15. Was not himself called Miracle Wimp in school (they went more for the cheese names rather than mayonnaise) but knew someone who was.

16. Is colorblind and his outfits reflect his.

Hey, this is tonight!


“Evening with Author Erik (P.) Kraft

Erik (P.) Kraft will be visiting to discuss why he writes, how he became a writer and things he used to read to inspire him to do this. This Littleton author has written the very funny ‘Lenny and Mel’ books, Miracle Wimp and Chocolatina.
For children in grades 2 and up.”