Good Kate DiCamillo! Good Harry Bliss!

Elizabeth Bluemle - September 25, 2018

Oh, ShelfTalker readers! The Flying Pig had the most fantastic visit from two of our favorite children’s book creators on the planet, Harry Bliss and Kate DiCamillo. Candlewick Press brought them to Vermont to celebrate their new picture book, GOOD ROSIE!, and we were lucky to host them offsite on Sunday. This book is 100% adorable, brilliantly written and illustrated, about a little dog who, while happy with her human companion, is lonely for a dog friend but isn’t sure how to find one. Her experience at the dog park is hilarious, and the way she happens upon unexpected friends will charm the hearts of introverts everywhere. Plus, the line about Rosie feeling lonely “in an empty-silver-bowl sort of way” is my favorite picture book phrase since “Trixie went boneless” and “and it was still hot.” Perfect perfect perfect.
It’s a testament to how much of a draw Kate and Harry are that people were willing to leave the allure of the absolutely glorious fall day outside and head into the Main Street Landing Film House, but they were. More than 200 folks poured in and filled the seats—except for the front row, which I’d diligently reserved for a particular 10 guests, but then forgot to tell those guests to head for reserved seating. Oops! That counts as one of the goofiest oversights in event history. I hope Kate, Harry, and Jennifer from Candlewick will agree that otherwise, all was smooth sailing.
Instead of a traditional reading, Kate and Harry spoke directly with the audience and with each other, leading a conversation that was personal, lively, and full of warmth and humor. It covered everything from how the idea for the book came about to what they are working on next, and even included a game of chase Harry played with his dog, Penny, who came with him to the event (and of course stole the show).
I confess that this post will not do the event justice. It’s 1 a.m. Tuesday morning, I am coming off of two 15-hour work days followed by a four-and-a-half-hour drive to Providence for the New England Independent Booksellers Association trade show, and at the moment, I am a bear of very little brain, as Pooh might say. However! My wonderful staffers, Helen and Mac, took photos. Helen Instagrammed the heck out of the event, bless her, and Mac got his good camera from the car and took some nice portraits.
Here is a little start-to-finish event round-up of Helen and Mac’s photos:

People wait patiently for their turn to get into the Film House. Instagram photo by Helen Thompson.

Kate and Harry charm the crowd. (Note empty front row.) Photo by Mac Christopher (pillowfortoutlaw on Instagram).

Harry’s dog, Penny, clearly wants to jump into MY arms. Insta by Helen Thompson.

Kate being utterly magical. Photo by Mac Christopher.

Harry being the sweetest dog person ever. Photo by Mac Christopher.

Insta by Helen Thompson.

Harry completes a squiggle that a child made on the paper, turning it into a cartoon. “Is that Freud?” piped up an audience member. Photo by Helen Thompson.

I’m missing a photo of the book sales tables, but you can envision what those looked like, I’m sure. It’s much more fun to go right to the best part of the ending, the autographing:

Kate and Harry sign books, making kids so happy they literally danced in front of the tables. Photo by Helen Thompson. On our Instagram, this is a very cute gif, worth checking out (flyingpigbooks).

We can’t thank Candlewick enough for bringing Harry and Kate to Vermont, where they connected with so many readers. People can’t stop talking about their visit!

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