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Get ready to sing and dance – and maybe have a lesson or two – when bestselling author Eric Litwin brings his newest book, “Groovy Joe: Ice Cream & Dinosaurs,” to the Upstate, at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 23 at Holland Park Church.

Litwin, the No. 1 New York Times best-selling author of the original four “Pete the Cat” books and “The Nuts” series, is launching his latest character, a very laid back dog, in the first book in the “Groovy Joe” series. The second book, “Groovy Joe: Disco Party Bow Wow” will hit shelves in 2017.

Litwin always includes Greenville on his book tours and he is always very well received.

“Last year, I think there were 500 people there and there was one family completely dressed as the Nut family,” Litwin said. “I wonder what we will have this year?”

Kids know they love the rhyme and repetition of Litwin’s books and the songs that accompany them. Parents find a little something else in the stories. Litwin, a former special education teacher, packs his books full of multi-learning opportunities, such as call-and-response and simple sentence structure, to match a variety of learning styles. For beginning and early readers, the combination of traditional phonics learning with music and rhyme can jumpstart reading progress.

“It’s just more natural and it works better when the books interweave multisensory techniques,” he said. “When you combine those traditional education techniques with these multi-learning techniques, children who were struggling reading – all of a sudden a lightbulb goes off.”

Like Litwin’s other books, “Groovy Joe” has structure that appeals to children. Litwin said he gets an especially strong reception from special needs teachers and families.

The latest book also has a good message.

“Groovy Joe is a laid back, fun, groovy dog,” Litwin said. “He is all about optimism and problem solving. Groovy Joe had a cup of ice cream and dinosaurs show up. That’s a situation.”

Want to go?

Litwin presents a free performance at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 23 at Holland Park Church in Simpsonville. This event is free and open to the public, but a purchase of “Groovy Joe: Ice Cream & Dinosaurs” from Fiction Addiction prior to or at the event is required in order to join the signing line. Litwin will also sign copies of his backlist books (“The Nuts” books, the first four “Pete the Cat” books), but will only personalize copies of “Groovy Joe.” For more information, visit http://www.fiction-addiction.com.

Win a school visit

Want a chance to win a school visit from Eric Litwin? A dance contest for classrooms and schools is coming soon. Teachers can help their class or school make a video with a chance to win a school visit. For details, visit https://www.facebook.com/EricLDanceContest and http://groovyjoestories.scholastic.com/books. Because every video should receive an abundance of compliments, Litwin is also putting together a team of complimenters. For more information, contact Litwin at http://www.ericlitwin.com.

Hear the story

Play the audio version of “Groovy Joe: Ice Cream & Dinosaurs,” as well as “The Groovy Song” in English and Spanish at http://groovyjoestories.scholastic.com/books.

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Read or Share this story: https://www.upstateparent.com/story/entertainment/events/2016/08/17/best-selling-author-eric-litwin-return-greenville/88903752/