A Small Recap

Josie Leavitt - May 29, 2009

The breakfast speakers have just wrapped up and turned my mood around. I awoke this morning tired, and somewhat burdened by all the things I learned in yesterday’s educational sessions — there’s so much I’m not doing and should be.  

Julie Andrews really is a delightful way to begin the day. She’s stately, regal and lovely. Her sharing of her love of books was heartfelt and humorous. Peter Yarrow was a surprise treat who sang from his new book, Day Is Done. A somewhat sleepy crowd did their best to sing along, although we disappointed. We clapped well, but sang "meekly." It was 8 a.m. after all. I can’t speak for other folks, but I had not had enough coffee.

Meg Cabot was delightfully funny. She began by saying next year we should have Bono sing, so the opening speaker can be as intimidated as she was, having to follow Julie Andrews and Peter Yarrow. Until she was an adult having little success as a illustrator, she never showed her stories to anyone. Once she did, she had three years of rejections, but she persisted. She shared her three rules for life: Never pass a bathroom without using it. Always treat people the way you want to be treated. And lastly, Never give up.

Tomie dePaola was adorable as always. He began by doing what a lot of people think when they see Julie Andrews — he sang, "The hills are alive with the sound of music.."  I was awed that Strega Nona began as a doodle. A doodle! My doodles are angry boxed-in squares. Hmmm. Everytime I see Tomie I still can’t believe he’s 75 and has been making art for so long. And the good thing, he’s not stopping.

Amy Krouse Rosenthal was very innovative, both with her presentation and her creative life. Her ten questions were provocative and funny. I really loved what she said about how she could spend her time reacting to things or creating.

I love these breakfasts: I leave inspired and energized. Now I’m off to the ABC board meeting where we’ll discuss the possible merger with the ABA. Should be a really interesting meeting.

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