Daily Archives: July 13, 2009

Geisel Ceremony

_SCC0376I thoroughly enjoyed the Geisel Ceremony. Mo Willems made a truly funny speech. My boys particularly appreciated the line: “Screw you!” He suggested it as his preferred comeback to the dog in ‘Go Dog, Go” who keeps saying “I do not like that hat.”

Chicago trip-3Richard and I received nice plaques with our certificates mounted on them. My friend Hester Bass (author of the forthcoming title The Secret World of Walter Anderson) led the “whoops” section. By happenstance, we ended up sitting not in the section reserved for honorees but among the various selection committee members. This made it easy for me to thank the Geisel committee members for noticing Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator.

It was fun to hear Kadir Nelson talk about his first meeting with Hank Aaron, who would write the forward for his multiple-award-winning book, We Are the Ship. Nelson was accepting the Siebert Medal.

We went back to the exhibit floor to sign books for an hour. The boys, meanwhile, worked on restaurant selection. We ate a late lunch at Giordano’s and then Richard and the boys took off for the suburbs. I went back to sign for another hour.

Visitors to the booth continued to express interest in Growing Patterns. I gave out a bunch of business cards to librarians who expressed an interest in my website‘s supplemental material for Wolfsnail — especially the teachers’ guide and slideshow.

First Day at ALA

Chicago trip-2Richard, the boys, and I arrived at McCormick Place in Chicago slightly ahead of schedule this afternoon. We split the 12-hour drive from Jackson in half, stopping over Saturday night with friends in Carbondale, IL. Now that I am comfortably settled onto my college roommate’s couch, I am ready to write about our first impression of the ALA’s exhibit hall.

Huge! Overwhelming! Great books (and authors) at every turn — after finding the Boyds Mills booth, I went immediately to Candlewick‘s to see Hester Bass‘s book: The Secret World of Walter Anderson. Even though I saw the galleys and thought it looked wonderful, the real book is a work of art. Get this one as soon as you can.

We saw fancy new furniture, display cases, and game systems. We saw a vending machine dispensing books much the way snacks and candy bars are dispensed. N and I stopped at Out of the Box Publishing and played a few fun games: Ninja vs. Ninja and Backseat Drawing.

We stopped at Hyperion’s booth to have two books signed by Lita Judge: Pennies for Elephants and One Thousand Tracings. I highly recommend these books. Her illustrations are wonderful and the stories very interesting. She certainly knows how to take historical events and make them into engaging picture books.

N and I also stopped in at the Wizards of the Coast Publishing booth. The boys were convinced that the ALA would not have books like the ones they like: read fantasy, science fiction, game tie-in novels, etc. Boy, were they wrong. N walked into the WCP booth and pointed at the not-yet-released title by RA Salvatore and a very nice staffer handed him a free copy of a book Salvatore wrote with his son called The Stowaway.

Richard and I signed for an hour at the Boyds Mills booth and it was a ton of fun. Anastasia Suen walked by and I called her over to say that I had learned a good deal from her book Picture Writing. We talked some about Growing Patterns; she leafed through my draft copy and asked that I send a review copy next spring. Absolutely!

I also met the first librarian to review Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator. Amy Schardein is a librarian in northern Kentucky (where my mother’s family hails from). I thanked Amy for her review last year and I showed her Growing Patterns. It is so nice to meet people in person who have embraced Wolfsnail and used it in their libraries.

I’ll add pictures when I can — probably from the exhibit floor.

Sarita and Alex (roomie and baby)

Sarita and Alex (roomie and baby)