People have asked me at a few of my signings why I didn’t weave Ethiopia into my Lanie books. Lanie’s dreams of following animals across the savannah (something I did as a girl and as an adult in real life) are maybe the most obvious nod to my childhood in Ethiopia. It’s great that a teacher or two has recognized the fun of connecting Lanie with Water Hole Waiting. As Lanie says, she and her best friend might spend their lives tracking elephants as they rumble across the savannah.
Factoid: Elephants can laugh and cry, and their trunks have 100,000 muscle units.
Today, I’m working on another fun Ethiopia connection, though. Denver is the next city where an American Girl store will open. Very soon, kids in Denver can take their doll to tea or to visit the doll doctor, as in the store where I just visited in Atlanta. In fact, when I was just in Denver, a few families I talked with were predicting that the opening–coming up this month–is going to be the event of the spring in that city…at least for certain fans!
The Ethiopia Reads office is also in Denver. So while, I was there, two volunteers decided to organize Lanie meet-the-author events in Denver and Boulder that will not only celebrate books (and plants and animals) in our own back yards but also raise money for literacy efforts in Ethiopia.
Anyone reading this blog who lives in or near Denver is invited to join in…or even help!