This week I was scheduled to write about Ponderosa pines, (aka Pinus ponderosa, aka Montana’s state tree, aka not the best choice in Christmas tree). But something important has come up. This blogger has an exclusive scoop. By exclusive, I mean that I saw this on the SouthWest Montana upcoming events page. Jan Brett is coming to town.
You might know Jan Brett from winter classics like Christmas Trolls, Wild Christmas Reindeer, The Mitten, and The Hat, and you would likely recognize her intricate illustrations that combine whimsy and accuracy. You could spend hours finding all of the sub-stories and jokes hidden in her illustrations, if you didn’t want to rush to the end to figure out what plot twists she has in store.
Jan Brett is going to be in Montana tomorrow. Jan Brett is a famous children’s book authors and illustrators, and is well known for her intricate illustrations and clever takes on the world’s folktales. She gets much of her inspiration from the fact that she travels the world, researching the regional art, architecture, costumes and animals. Despite the whimsy, all of her books take place in a very specific setting, and all of her artwork pays homage to that place. For example, according to the Fredrick News-Post she is planning a new twist on Goldilocks that takes place in the sea off of Japan.
She is in Montana promoting her most recent book The Turnip, which takes place near Novogorod, Russia. The Turnip, is Brett’s take on a Russian folktale, and features a family of Eurasian badgers (those are the cute and cuddly cousins of the Montana’s super angry badgers) trying to dig up a giant turnip. I haven’t actually read the book, so I’m not sure, but I think that it will end up involving an unbearably cute ensemble of Eurasian animals who learn a valuable lesson.
Brett is in town only briefly, very briefly. She shows up in Bozeman at 10 am on Thursday, gives a quick illustration presentation, signs as many books as she can, and then dashes off to Helena to do the same thing. As soon as she is done in Helena, she will load back onto her (colorfully illustrate) bus and head out of state. She’ll be in and out of Montana quicker than the Gingerbread Boy. The signings are free, and open to the public. They are also first come first serve. She probably won’t have time to sign everyone’s books, but Montana Book & Toy Co. will have signed bookplates for all of the extra books. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle ends their article with this quote from Brett, so I think I will too: “All you need is a paper and pencil and you can create the world.”
And here’s a picture of a hedgehog, just for fun.