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Home Arts & Culture Author of “Captain Underpants” and “Dog Man” to visit Concordia

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by April Bayer


Children’s author and illustrator Dav Pilkey will visit Concordia’s campus on Oct. 25 as a part of his “Dog Man” book tour. Pilkey will speak to members of the Seward community, share drawings and sign books in Weller Auditorium beginning at 6 p.m.

Pilkey began writing and drawing as an elementary school student in Ohio. His behavior in the classroom was considered disruptive, and he was often placed on his own at a desk in the hallway. Pilkey used this time to create original comics. Many of his classmates found his work entertaining, while his teachers were generally less supportive.

Pilkey was first encouraged to become a writer during his freshman year of college at Kent State University in 1984. His English professor noticed that he was drawing comics in his notebook during a lecture and asked to see them. She thought his stories were funny and said he should consider writing children’s books.

Pilkey has now been writing and illustrating for more than 20 years. He is best known for the “Captain Underpants” and “Dumb Bunnies” series as well as “Dog Breath,” which won the California Young Reader Medal, and “The Paperboy,” a 1997 Caldecott Honor Book.

Pilkey is currently on tour promoting his recently published book, “Dog Man,” the first of a new series. His visit to Seward was made possible by a partnership between the Plum Creek Children’s Literacy Festival and Chapters Books & Gifts.

According to Carla Ketner, owner of Chapters Books & Gifts, Pilkey was willing to visit Seward, but he wanted to make sure that an independent bookstore was supported in the process.

“If people buy the book on Amazon, they are limiting their (community’s) access to…author events,” Ketner said. “I think it’s important that somebody with a big name like Dav Pilkey…makes it known that they support independent businesses because they…want to keep their books available to communities.”

Pilkey’s presentation will last for approximately 30 minutes and will feature examples of his artwork. Children in the audience will be given the opportunity to participate, guess what he is drawing and win free books as prizes.

Pilkey will have a book signing at 6:30 p.m. following the presentation. Attendees are welcome to bring one book from home for him to sign, and he will also sign any books that are purchased from Chapters Books & Gifts during the week of the presentation.

Those interested in attending are encouraged to pick up a free ticket to the event from Chapters Books & Gifts if they want to be guaranteed a spot for Pilkey’s presentation.

“People love (Dav Pilkey’s) books.  They seem like they’re…all slapstick (and) silly humor, but really there is some fun wordplay, and there’s cleverness underneath the silliness,” Ketner said. “I think parents who read these books with their kids or teachers who read them can appreciate them. A lot of (older students) grew up reading these books, so they’ll appreciate getting to meet him, too.”

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