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the best voicemail EVER

September 28th, 2012 | 9 Comments

I’m currently touring several cities in support of my Everything Goes series. More details and anecdotes about this week of school visits and bookstore events will follow once I return to Philadelphia, but something happened today that I just have to share.
I was at Prairie Point Elementary School in Oswego, Illinois on Wednesday. This was my only event scheduled for the day, so we were able to slow things down a bit and have a little more fun than is usually possible at a school visit. It was a terrific group of kids at Prairie Point and it was extremely well-put-together by the school librarian, Ms. Carol Patterson.

First of all, there were cookies.

Since we had extra time, I got a chance to make a big drawing for the kids after my regular slide show. When I do these drawings, I like to have the students pick the subject, and it was decided that I needed to draw a dog riding a “weird motorcycle.” The dog was carrying an ice cream cone, and the cherry of the ice cream cone was stuck to the dog’s motorcycle helmet. Okay? Got it? This is an important detail.

So a half hour after I leave the school, my phone rings. I posted this on Facebook, so you may have seen it.

A boy’s voice says, “is this Brian Biggs?”

I say, “Yes.”

“Um, do you remember today at Prairie Point that you talked to us about your books?”

I say, now with a bit of trepidation, “…..Yes”

“I’m the one in the green shirt. Do you remember me?”

Now I’m lying, because I’m not really sure. “Yesssss….”

“I want to know when, um, Everything Goes in the Sea, or by Sea or whatever it is, is coming out.”

I told him, in a year. September of next year.

And then he hung up.

So I got a lot of mileage out of this, telling this story. Little did I know that this wasn’t the end of it.

Today I’m in Oxford, Mississippi visiting Square Books Jr. I was in the bookstore having a coffee and, again, my phone rings with that same Illinois phone number. I didn’t answer it this time and instead let it go to voicemail. I figured if he didn’t leave a message, all the better; and if he does leave a message it will probably be worth having. Boy was I right. I listened to it just before starting my signing event at the store and as I listened I nearly cried. Yes, out of wonder and joy but also because it’s freaking hilarious. Listen up.


The audio is transcribed below in case there are parts that are hard to understand.

Hello Brian Biggs um

Remember when you came to Prairie Point you called on the guy with the shirt with the green shirt. I’m him and I really — when I read your book…

IT was AWESOME. I mean…

I like your writing and stuff and that um, that um, the um, that picture where you um, the picture where you were like sitting and saying, “I love to draw” something like that.
You gave me a little clue and that little clue gave me an idea and that clue told me that um, I saw, I saw your writing and I thought you, your, like, your writing is awesome and I like how you draw that mouth on the weird, the dog with the cherry thingy with the, the weird motorcycle you came to Prairie Point and Mrs. Patterson told, and (indecipherable), I love your books and the, the one that Everything Goes: In the Air, I LOVE that one because it shows different kinds of planes and facts about those planes..

I learned a LOT from your books.



I don’t think I suffer much in my work. I get to draw cool stuff and I work in a neat studio and I make a living and all that. It’s all good. But when I spend weeks on end by myself in my little garage in Philadelphia, it’s easy to sometimes forget that this Guy in Green Shirt is out there. So I’m glad I have it now to listen to when things aren’t just perfect.


  1. Laurie says:

    You need to FIND that kid, and make him your fan club president. I’m not even kidding. With his “little clue” and all… ohmygosh, he’s the best. 🙂

  2. You know, you don’t always realize what a huge impression you can make on a kid, but clearly, you made a BIGGs impression on him! haha That’s awesome. Really puts what you do every day into perspective, huh?

  3. Jeanne Maria Todd says:

    That was wonderful. I know it made your day. I agree with Laurie. Find that child and send him something special as well as have him start a fan club. Something special; maybe a drawing just for him.

    See ya on Facebook 🙂

  4. Sandra Waugh says:

    I agree with Jeanne, you have GOT to send this little guy a drawing! It may be a life altering experience for him. He may decided that he wants to be the next great children’s book illustrator…..

  5. Man, this is just the greatest thing. That kid is AWESOME. Thanks.

  6. david says:

    *really big grin*

  7. Gary LaCoste says:

    AWESOME indeed! We all have those favorite books we remember as kids which always hold a special place in our heart. The kid in the green shirt now has his. Lovingly created in a little garage in Philly.

  8. […] The Best Voicemail Ever: Our friend Brian Biggs is touring elementary schools in support of his wonderfully whimsical children’s book series Everything Goes. And it was while on tour in Oswego, Illinois, that he received just about the best voicemail an author could possibly ever get. […]

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