Thursday, May 10, 2012

Marty World! Get your tickets now.

I spend a considerable amount of time sitting home, alone, staring at a computer and tapping little buttons on it.

My contention is that it is far, far better than sitting in an office with a bunch of people, staring at a computer and tapping little buttons on it. This is primarily because at home, I can be in my pajamas, something likely to cause comment at even the most casual businesses.

I generally enjoy my job immensely. There are times, however, when it eclipses even being the taste testing guy at Ben & Jerry's.

Like, when you go to a school to do an author visit and, upon walking in the front door, you are greeted with a tableau like this:

It's a magical Marty Kelley Wonderland.

This is what I saw when I walked through the doors at Inter-Lakes Elementary School in Meredith, NH on Monday.

I was so bedazzled by  the banner that it took me a moment to recognize the full scope of the amazing work of genius here. Alesia Parks and her team of magical elves had created an amazing diorama of my books.

Terrifying, 4 foot long mosquitoes from Summer Stinks.

The smiling tree and a frozen child from Fall Is Not Easy and Winter Woes.
Tricycle, boots, umbrella, helmet, and mud from Spring Goes Squish.
I must assume that the girl from the book has disappeared beneath the mud.
And, my personal favorite, the desk from The Messiest Desk, complete with child being eaten and a real, live, actual toilet plunger.

The desk even had the hamburger from the cover of The Rules.

At first, I thought that they had created an entire Marty Kelley Amusement Park and I went running through the school like a lunatic, trying to find out what sort of mascot they had created and how fast the roller coaster was.

The disappointment that they had not actually built a roller coaster was brief and short-lived, however. Because Beckie Grinavic and Jenny Stevens had created a Marty Kelley Story Walk at the local town library. A story walk is when somebody takes your book and cuts it all up into about a million little pieces and then puts it all back together along a path in the woods so a couple dozen kids can go shrieking through nature, looking for book pages hanging in decidedly unnatural places.

It was a LOT of fun.

And, since it was raining, it was sort of like a water slide, which is almost as good as a roller coaster.
The natural beauty of anywhere is enhanced by ripping my books apart, reassembling them, and hanging them all over the place.

No, the comic irony of reading this book while slogging along a wet, muddy path is not lost on me.
This is what I looked like after the walk. Except I had on a different skirt.

After we had followed the magical, literary path through the woods, and just when the kids thought that no day could ever be more wonderful, they were each allowed to run to the edge of this lake and throw in one item.

Sadly, it wasn't stipulated that the item must be inanimate and several children tried to hurl me into the water. I was lucky that they were tired from all the walking and thus were unable to lift me.

So now, as I site here on my couch, waiting for my shoes to dry, I'm thinking of ways that a school might be able to install a Marty Kelley Reading Roller Coaster.


Anonymous said...


Your Neighbor back in the woods

Heather Ayris Burnell said...

That is some amazing stuff, Marty! It's great to see a school prepare--and get into--an author visit. I'd love to see my kid's school do stuff like that. And I was just talking about book walks the other day. I was thinking I would have to blow up the pages but it looks like using them straight from the book can work well too.