Yesterday, Demi was signing her books at Hicklebee's, a local children's bookstore. I can't remember how I found out about her appearance, but I wanted to see her because I've been a fan of her art for over twenty years now. But I had to work, and there was no one to cover the shift, so the only thing I could do was take a slightly longer lunch break and get a quick glimpse of the artist.
Over the past decade, I guess she's been doing a lot of biographies of famous figures ranging from Jesus Christ and Krishna to Zheng He and Gandhi. When I got there, she read from one of her new books, "The Great Voyages of Zheng He", and answered questions from the kids in the audience. I would have loved to ask her about her technique, and how she picks her subjects, but I figured it would be rude to bore the kids with those kinds of details.
I had just enough time to get her to autograph a book before I left. When I got to the front of the line, she seemed puzzled. Why would an adult be there? First she asked me if I was a teacher. Then she asked my husband, who had come to join me in case I had to leave before getting to the front of the line, if he was a teacher. I told her no, I just really liked her art, she sorta gave me this look like, "But my books are for children!" I mentioned that my favorite book as a child had been "The Hallowed Horse" and she said, "Oh, that was a long time ago!" and then looked to the next person in line.
So I guess that meeting didn't go as wonderfully as it might have done. But it was pretty neat to see Demi in person, and check out her new books. After all, I grew out of her target audience in the early 1990s, so I had no idea how prolific she'd been in the following decades. I'm glad I managed to slip out of work long enough to see her and get a copy of "The Great Voyages of Zheng He" signed by its author.