Tigers will be the talk of Temple High School Saturday, but this event won’t focus on the campus’ next-door rivals.
Children’s author and illustrator Jan Brett will demonstrate her drawings of tigers as her national book tour comes to Temple. Brett’s new book, “The Tale of the Tiger Slippers,” was published by G.P Putnam’s Sons. The author’s wrapped tour bus, which shows art from this latest book, will stop at the high school Saturday.
During her visit, Brett will sign copies of her new book on top of conducting a drawing demonstration to show her art style for those in attendance. Organizers said that, while there will be books for sale at the event, attendees are encouraged to bring their own books.
The free event — open to the public — will start at 5 p.m. and will be sponsored by both the Temple Independent School District and Lark & Owl Booksellers in Georgetown. The Temple visit is one of only three events in Texas, with the others being in Frisco and Friendswood.
This tour is one of Brett’s annual treks around the country, with her visiting a total of 23 cities this year. She has been writing and illustrating books for more than 30 years, and has sold over 42 million copies of her books, a publisher’s press release said.
Brett’s new book follows the same theme as several of her previous ones — retelling the classical tales of other cultures in her own way.
The story this time is a reimagining of the Persian story “Abu Kassem’s Slippers,” with a tiger as the main character. To get inspiration for the book, and to better understand the world she wanted to create, Brett traveled to India and visited nature parks in the country.
“The mystique and beauty of the tiger are legendary,” Brett said in a news release. “When I saw an opportunity to spend a year painting them in a children’s book, I started thinking about a trip to India.”
For Temple school district officials such as Kathy Silvas, district coordinator for library services, this visit by Brett is long sought after.
Silvas said the district previously attempted to be one of the stops for Brett’s book tours but was never selected. This was why Silvas was surprised earlier this year when they were contacted by the author’s staff requesting to have a stop in Temple.
Brett’s books, many of which focus on cultures of other countries, are a staple in many of the district’s schools, Silvas said.
“Temple ISD students know who Jan Brett is through read-alouds, books they borrow from the library and their teachers, and author studies,” Silvas said. “Our elementary librarians will be conducting author studies to remind and introduce our students to this amazing author during the month of November.”
For Silvas, visits from authors such as Brett are important for students because it helps them get more involved in reading and learn to love books.