As I visit lots of used book sales at school fairs, I find the most delightful surprises. I found an old James Marshall picture book called Yummers. (I love James Marshall, oh how I wish I could have met the man who uses words such as collosal in his Three Little Pigs book!) I found a Simms Taback picture book from 1967. I found a pop-up book of limericks by Bennett Cerf. TOO MUCH! Oh, it doesn't get any better! I have now purchased both Tomi Ungerer Phaidon reissues: Moon Man and Three Robbers and cannot wait to read them. At PS87 we had Everybody Reads Week, and four authors I invited were so nice to come. Ellen Levine, Megan Montague Cash, Pattly Lakin, and Jessie Hartland. The kids were awesome and fascinated and would have crawled into the writers' pockets if they could have! Meeting writers is the best way to get kids excited about books. Several of the authors mentioned having been poor students or poor spellers. The kids loved that. Ellen Levine mentioned having wanted to be a hobo. That got a roar!
Gus is plowing through books. He is in a David Lubar phase right now with Hidden Talents and True Talents. He read both books by Pseudonymous Bosch. (Who is he, anyway?) He came for a school visit. After that is the final Lightning Thief book. My job is being his book supplier. I do it pro bono.
Henry has discovered the Cam Jansen mysteries--and chapter books in general. This is huge!! For book club, we are reading Stuart Little and finding it very sweet and sometimes worrysome. I love how the illustrations hardly take Stuart into account at all. He is tiny in every one of them!! That would never happen today!
Today I spent the day combing Manhattan for a silversmith-esque costume for Gus's Colonial Day project in school. I wish I'd been twittering or tweeting--because I covered a lot of miles and couls have picked up lots of stuff for other Colonial parents! I went from the garment district (buttons and shoe buckles) to Halloween Adventure (tricorn hat) of 11th Street to Cheap Jack's on 32and and Fifth (leather vest). I even hit Daffy's for the under layer (Knickers and white shirt. He is to be a Colonial Silversmith!
I am finishing a picture book for Lee Wade to be pubished by Schwartz and Wade. It's a book of funky & gorgeous animal photographs by Steve Grubman. I wrote the accompanying text. Once a title is finalized, I will expound more. It was lots of fun to write--I learned heaps (LOVE ELEPHANTS!)--and it required a complete revision. And then another. That's okay, though. Now I got a taste of my own medicine.
As I ponder how to stay involved in kids books, I ask myself: Can you just sit down and write a chapter a day for one week for your OWN book? Just one week. I think I can do it, but when do I have to start? That's the question. Please let me know.