What do Colonel Chris Hadfield and Andy Griffiths have in common?

You might be wondering what a Canadian astronaut and an Australian children’s author might have in common…

Colonel Chris Hadfield and Andy Griffiths are both “rock stars”in their jobs and inspiring in what they do and over the past two weeks I’ve had the opportunity to see them both!

I’m sure you will remember last year when we watched  videos from the International Space Station made by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield. He tweeted incredible photos of Earth each day for the five months he was on the ISS.  I have read his amazing book called ‘An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth’ and was inspired by how he quietly decided to be an astronaut when he was nine years old after watching the moon landing and how he worked incredibly hard to fulfil his dream. Becoming an astronaut is nothing like I imagined.

Chris Hadfield visited Australia for a week and I was lucky to see him in Melbourne at The Melbourne Writer’s Festival and again in Canberra for Science Week.  His talk was called “The Sky is Not the Limit”.  I was fascinated as he spoke and felt like I was there as he explained in animated detail what it was like to be in a rocket launched into space, how fun it is to be weightless and how for 21 years he worked towards turning himself into an astronaut.  I had goosebumps when he picked up his guitar and played his version of “Space Oddity” that he became famous for playing in space.  

Chris Hadfield encouraged us to “Decide in your heart of hearts what really excites and challenges you, and start moving your life in that direction. Every decision you make, from what you eat to what you do with your time tonight, turns you into who you are tomorrow, and the day after that. Look at who you want to be, and start sculpting yourself into that person.” 

(Click on the photo twice to see the larger size)

I’m looking forward to Chris Hadfield’s next book in October called “You are Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes” which will contain his photos from space and his comments about them.  I’m also very excited that he is working with Peter Reynolds  (who wrote and illustrated The Dot) to create a picture book which I know will be both creative and inspiring.

I was disappointed not to have my book  signed by Chris Hadfield, but I did find two “astronauts” to have a fun photo with!


I’m sure by now that many of you already have your own copies of The 52-storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and I know after reading it that you will definitely be eating your vegetables from now on!!!


Last Friday I lined up at Dymocks at Doncaster to meet Andy Griffiths and have a book signed for our LRC and for our friend Mrs Hembree’s library in Seattle, Washington.  I arrived at 2.30pm which was 2 hours before Andy was to start signing at 4.30pm and there were already people lined up!  I was so glad to be there early as I watched the line grow longer and longer and longer…it had even looped back to where I was near the beginning and they had to start another line further over by the time Andy arrived!  It made my teacher librarian heart sing to see so many excited children lining up with their books waiting to meet their favourite author.

Andy signed books for people from 4.30pm until the shopping centre closed at 9.00pm, but he wasn’t finished yet….he still had to sign piles of pre-ordered books in the store (see the photo he tweeted below)!!  He finished signing at 11.30pm…that’s SEVEN HOURS of signing!  

Books to sign

I suggested to Andy on Twitter that he and Terry Denton need to hurry and design a book signing arm for Andy before he wears his arm out!

I was SO excited to FINALLY meet Andy and have the opportunity to shake his hand and thank him for making reading fun and for inspiring so many children to read.  He has such a lovely smile and takes time to talk to every single person as he signs their book.  We are so lucky to have such a wonderfully talented and generous Australian author!

Meeting Andy

Mrs Hembree’s signed book is on it’s way to Seattle and I’ll drop our signed copy into the LRC on Monday…

Happy reading everyone!


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8 thoughts on “What do Colonel Chris Hadfield and Andy Griffiths have in common?

  1. Two wonderful experiences Miss Y!

    Chris Hadfield is so inspiring, thanks for sharing some of his wisdom.Kudos to Andy Griffiths for spending so much time to make everyone happy. And thanks to you Miss Y for sharing your experiences.

  2. Thanks Judith!

    I was really thrilled to have the opportunity to see both Chris and Andy. The other lovely thing about them both is that despite being famous, they are both very modest and humble people – such wonderful role models for children!

    Kim 🙂

  3. I love Chris Hadfield’s quote about moving every day towards the thing you are most passionate about. Thanks for a bumper issue post, full of good things!!

  4. Thanks Tania!

    I just had to write about the opportunity to see these two wonderful gentlemen!

    You must read Chris Hadfield’s book as it is full of really inspiring lessons he has learned from life.

    Kim 🙂

  5. Dear Miss Y,
    You are so lucky to have met Chris Hadfield and Andy Griffiths. It was really good getting the 52 Storey Treehouse, signed by Andy Griffiths. We can’t wait to see the book signed next week in the LRC. Wow! We hope you are having so much fun. We miss you!
    From 3MT and Ms.Tieppo

  6. Hi 3MT and Ms Tieppo,

    It’s great to hear from you!

    I’m enjoying visiting different places and being able to see and do different things. It was such a treat to be able to see two people I really admire.

    I hope you enjoy reading ‘The 52-storey Treehouse’. Andy is doing his Treehouse Tour at the moment and children all around Australia are lining up for him to sign their books! How exciting that must be for Andy!

    I hope you have had a wonderful term of learning in 3MT. Enjoy your holidays which are coming up soon.

    I miss seeing your happy smiling faces…

    Happy reading!

    Miss Y 🙂

  7. Well done Miss Y using your Gap Year to follow your passion.
    It is heartening to see that so many children are enjoying reading because Andy Griffiths uses his great writing skills to engage readers.
    I heard that some children lined up for 4 hours to meet Andy Griffiths.
    Thank you Miss Y for getting a signed book for the LRC.
    Mrs S

  8. Hi Mrs S,

    I was thrilled to have the opportunity to hear Chris Hadfield talk as he is such an inspiring human being and one of my personal heroes.

    I was SO excited to FINALLY meet Andy after reading and promoting his books with students over many years. It must be really rewarding for Andy to meet the children he writes for and I know it is very exciting for the children to meet him…no matter how long they line up!

    My pleasure to get a signed book for our LRC

    Miss Y 🙂

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