I’m sitting in the airport in Anaheim, California, leaving the American Library Association’s annual convention. I love this convention. I love it for the books, for the librarians, for the friends I only see once or twice a year. I love seeing what other publishers are publishing, wistfully browsing their sumptuously illustrated picture books. I love talking about bookmaking with others who love the craft. I love drinking too much, laughing too hard and staying too late with my book people.
I’ve never been particularly interested in celebrity, but I geek out at ALA Annual. Just today I say Brian Selznick (The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Wonderlust), Daniel Handler (AKA Lemony Snicket), Lane Smith (The Stinky Cheeseman, John, Paul, George and Ben) and Kadir Nelson (We Are the Ship). Yesterday I had my picture taken with Olivia the pig.
There are a number of soon-to-be released books that I’m really excited about, but I’m particularly anxious to get my hands on Harlem’s Little Blackbird, written by Renee Watson and illustrated (gorgeously!) by newcomer Christian Robinson.
I’m exhausted, but elated and inspired. It might be time to dust off the manuscripts I’ve been working on, to pull them out of their drawer and give them a little polish. Who knows? Maybe someday one of those sumptuously illustrated picture books will have my name on it.