Splendid Japan: The Magnificent Mendel Elementary

Librarian Lynda George and me before the Big Day begins! Don't we look rested? 🙂

Welcome back, friends! Ready to see what happened on my first day of author visits on Yokota Air Base in Japan? Pretty much all awesomeness, with a little bit of charred author flesh for dinner. (Not really. But it was close!) Let’s start with…

... the welcome! A sign, WITH a cute panda. And inside, one of the most welcoming librarians! A lovely beginning.

The J K Mendel PTO gave me presents! Want to see what I got...

CANDY! And cuteness! And a T-shirt (which I have already worn twice, because, um - Pandas!)

Razorbill and I gave presents, too! Some great new MG books for the Mendel library. Yay, books!

Lunch included this little beauty - the Japanese version of the tuna fish sandwich. Called a rice ball, with rice and tuna inside. Yum!

Principal Phipps made me feel so welcome. She is NOTHING like Principal Trapp. Except...

...she *did* participate in "fattening up the author" at a yaki-niku restaurant that night!

Yaki-niku means "cooking fire so close to the author she almost began her author visits with singed eyebrows." 🙂

And outside, all day long, the sakura blossoms were turning into snow...

Sigh. I miss the amazing kids and staff of Mendel Elementary. Sort of like cherry blossoms, over far too quickly.

But I still have the T-shirt! And this awesome picture of Mt. Fuji, too. Hmm. Mt. Fuji is smaller than I expected. 🙂

Next post, you’ll see the amazing students and librarians of Yokota Middle School. And one of the nicest presents I’ve ever received, given to me by one of Yokota’s students!

Until then… sayonara!

Posted in Children's Fiction on 04/10/2013 12:39 pm


  1. Me= Jealous

    You= LUCKY!!!!!!!!!!!

    I so want to got to New Zealand, Fiji, Japan, France and so many other places. I also read your book on my kindle and it was great. Hey, if you want look at my blog.





  3. It was a long time ago (2013 wow) but I was one of the students at Joan K Mendel who got to meet you and get a signed copy of your book. I think it was one of the very first books that got me into reading. It’s still my favorite book today, and I’m in high school now. I still remember watching the video that was made for it, and you saying that all the kids in it got to keep these outrageous sweets from it.


    • Nikki Loftin

      Thelma, your comment made my day! I remember that trip with a smile on my lips and a tear in my eye. It was such a gift to meet you and all the students there. Thank you for sharing your memories with me- those days were some of my favorite ever!


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