Encouragement Across America Tour

Why didn’t I put this one on my bucket list? Well, at least it will be done.

As we’ve been visiting classrooms here in the Great Lakes area, I’ve had this aching desire to hit the road and see how things are in other parts of the country. How are the schools? Are the kids different? Will they embrace Pete the Popcorn like folks around here have?

I’m finally going to have the opportunity to answer these questions. From September 4th through November 7th, we will be criss-crossing the country, visiting schools, churches, parent/teacher organizations and other civic groups. Joe and I will be reading our bestselling Children’s Book, Pete the Popcorn. Furthermore, we will be starting a conversation about encouragement— and how children need to encourage each other, to eliminate bullying in our schools.

Later this week, I’ll tell you a bit more of what I personally hope to accomplish with this project. I’m very excited for all the possibilities. But for now, here are the tour dates for our Encouragement Across America Tour:

Tuesday, 9/4 – Grand Rapids, Michigan
Wednesday, 9/5 – Chicago, Illinois
Thursday, 9/6 – Chicago, Illinois
Friday, 9/7 – Green Bay, Wisconsin
Monday, 9/10 – Madison, Wisconsin
Tuesday, 9/11 – Rochester, Minnesota
Wednesday, 9/12 – Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota
Thursday, 9/13 – Fargo, North Dakota
Friday, 9/14 – Bismarck, North Dakota
Monday, 9/17 – Spokane, Washington
Tuesday, 9/18 – Seattle, Washington
Wednesday, 9/19 – Portland, Oregon
Thursday, 9/20 – Eugene, Oregon
Friday, 9/21 – Medford, Oregon
Monday, 9/24 – San Francisco, California
Tuesday, 9/25 – Los Angeles, California
Wednesday, 9/26 – Los Angeles, California
Thursday, 9/27 – Los Angeles, California
Friday, 9/28 – Las Vegas, Nevada
Monday, 10/1 – Denver, Colorado
Tuesday, 10/2 – Denver, Colorado
Wednesday, 10/3 – Traveling
Thursday, 10/4 – Omaha, Nebraska
Friday, 10/5 – Des Moines, Iowa
Monday, 10/8 – Detroit, Michigan
Tuesday, 10/9 – Toledo, Ohio
Wednesday, 10/10 – Cleveland, Ohio
Thursday, 10/11 – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Friday, 10/12 – Washington, D.C.
Monday, 10/15 – Richmond, Virginia
Tuesday, 10/16 – Norfolk, Virginia
Wednesday, 10/17 – Traveling
Thursday, 10/18 – Raleigh, North Carolina
Friday, 10/19 – Greensboro, North Carolina
Monday, 10/22 – Charleston, South Carolina
Tuesday, 10/23 – Savannah, Georgia
Wednesday, 10/24 – Jacksonville, Florida
Thursday, 10/25 – Orlando, Florida
Friday, 10/26 – Ft. Lauderdale/Miami, Florida
Monday, 10/29 – Naples/Bonita Springs, Florida
Tuesday, 10/30 – Tampa, Florida
Wednesday, 10/31 – Traveling
Thursday, 11/1 – Panama City, Florida
Friday, 11/2 – Mobile, Alabama
Monday, 11/5 – Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Tuesday, 11/6 – New Orleans, Louisiana
Wednesday, 11/7 – New Orleans, Louisiana

Now, here is where I need your help. We have contacts in all of these cities that are helping us book schools and other groups to read to. But if you are located in any of these cities (or within a reasonable driving distance), we would love the opportunity to visit your school or group. Our presentation is free. And it’s guaranteed to be fun and educational.

Please spread the word if you have friends or family in any destination listed above. Together, through our complimentary grass-roots effort, we will eliminate bullying in our schools— through the simple tool of encouragement.

Take care,



Thanks for visiting this blog! As you see, it is not supported by advertising. If you would like to personally support this blog and its authors, please visit Amazon to purchase our Children’s Book, Pete the Popcorn! If you don’t have a child in your life, donate a copy to your local school or library! Also, we LOVE it when people LIKE us on Facebook. To learn more about our books, please visit www.PeteThePopcorn.com 


Popcorn and Billboards!

Last weekend, Pete the Popcorn visited Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Let me tell you, this was worth the drive:

Yep! That’s Joe in front of Pete the Popcorn’s Billboard in Grand Rapids, Michigan!

And yes! That’s Nick with the billboard, too. No, we didn’t have anyone else to take the photo. Real celebs we are…

Grand Rapids Popcorn Company held an awesome event. There were lots of kids there, we moved some books, the kids all got free popcorn… and everybody had an awesome time during March is Reading Month in the State of Michigan.

Here are some more photos from the event:

Grand Rapids Popcorn has been handing out coloring sheets! Great job, kids.

I love that Pete is blue in that coloring sheet.

Popcorn and Crayons! Yum!

Kids were quite patient waiting for the reading…

The kids were excited for their free slushies!

I was surprised and so very happy with the turnout…

The kids loved showing off their coloring sheets!

What a turnout!

We love involving the kids in the reading… makes it more fun!

And our first prize winner!

The adults who asked questions got the big bags of Popcorn!

These kids loved their winnings!

And these girls were happy to show off their popcorn and coloring sheets…

Here is Nick with a young reader…

The kids certainly love Pete and Grand Rapids Popcorn!

This family took home the loot… I hope they took home a book!

The kids weren’t too excited about their popcorn… Dad works there. So I guess they get a lot of popcorn!

So that’s it from Grand Rapids, Michigan!

Please go visit Grand Rapids Popcorn Company if you’re in the area— and if you’re not, go see their website!

Thanks Mike, Karen, Laura and everyone else at Grand Rapids Popcorn for a great event!

Tomorrow— a ringing endorsement! And some fun pictures…



Thanks for visiting this blog! As you see, it is not supported by advertising. If you would like to personally support this blog and its authors, please visit Amazon to purchase our Children’s Book, Pete the Popcorn! If you don’t have a child in your life, donate a copy to your local school or library! Also, we LOVE it when people LIKE us on Facebook. To learn more about our books, please visit www.PeteThePopcorn.com 

Pete Goes Shopping!

As you may know, we have a little “Traveling Pete” cardboard cutout that has been flying all over the country, visiting families.

Pete the Popcorn is the star of our new Children’s Book… titled… well, Pete the Popcorn! It comes out on February 29th, 2012 through Amazon.com and we are hoping you’ll help us out by purchasing a copy or two on that specific day.

But it’s been really cool seeing what families do with Pete! He has helped out at a daycare center. He has seen the sights in our Nation’s Capital. And now he’s gone to the grocery store.

It AMAZES me the amount of Popcorn-related products there are on the shelves at the grocery store. Of course, it appears Pete has found them all. Much like your kids are learning about all the things they can grow up to be, Pete is busy learning about popping up! Thanks Paula Gnacke and family for that pic!

Speaking of learning, we’ve learned a whole lot about popcorn over the past few months as word has spread about Pete the Popcorn! Of course, I knew that my taste buds start making love if they get a hint of caramel and cheese corn together. But that usually requires getting a piece of corn from two separate containers and then alternately POPPING them into my mouth. Too much work, I say!

So Campbell’s Sweets Factory in Cleveland, Ohio has taken their caramel corn, let it dry… and then runs it through the cheese process. Making cheese-coated caramel corn. They call it dichotomy. And it’s okay if you’d like to go look it up in the dictionary. Because I sure did. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

And who knew that there’s actually a popcorn made to taste like Chicken Wings with Ranch Dressing? POParazzi Gourmet POPcorn in Houston, Texas blew my mind with that one!

Or for someone with a discerning palate, Balsamic Vinegar and Cracked Pepper, like the good folks at Grand Rapids Popcorn have done? That would be awesome with a chilly class of Pinot Grigio. For the parents, of course.

Pink Peppercorn Popcorn, you ask? Popcorn Palace in Chicagoland is responsible for that one.

Mac and Cheese is just one of the flavors dreamed up by Popcorn Girl out in Las Vegas!

And how about picking up some popcorn in an airport? Queen City Popcorn at CVG (that’s Cincinnati, Ohio in airport lingo!) has you covered.

Finally, cherry cola popcorn? Al’s Popcorn in Columbus, Ohio— you’ve stolen my heart.


Be sure to pick up some treats for your family at these wonderful, locally owned and operated businesses. Some of these shops have confirmed dates with us to appear for signings… and others are still in the works. But all of them deserve your business.

I didn’t realize how much I liked popcorn until Pete came along… Speaking of Pete, have you pledged to help us and buy a book on LEAP DAY? PETE DAY is LEAP DAY.

Talk to you soon!