Storied City

Alison Morris -- April 28th, 2007

It’s been a whirlwind week at the bookstore — so much so that I haven’t had time until now to sit down and write about last weekend’s trip to New York. For a brief three days I managed to escape the stress associated with the daily grind, but it’s true, it’s true… I could not escape the world of children’s books!

Allow me to illustrate how my bookstore-free weekend was nevertheless all about the books.

While traveling on the train I read what? Children’s books.

Who went with me on this trip? Gareth, who writes and illustrates what? Graphic novels appropriate for teens. (Which for purposes of this listing we’ll call “children’s books.”)

Our wonderful weekend accommodations were provided for us by our friends Cliff and Joyce, whose 19 month-old daughter Juliet loves what? Children’s books. (Especially More, More, More, Said the Baby by Vera B. Williams.)

We spent much of Friday and part of Saturday with one of my oldest and closest friends, Tim Decker, who writes and illustrates what? Children’s books. (His second book, Run Far, Run Fast, is being published this October by Front Street.)

Basking in a very sunny Central Park, Gareth and I watched Tim, his fiancee Mandy, and our pal Simon pour over the pages of what? My coveted galley of Shaun Tan’s wordless graphic novel The Arrival, which Scholastic is publishing in October. I personally believe that Shaun Tan might be the single most talented illustrator currently working in the field of what? Children’s books. (I say “might” because there are days when Peter Sis takes my breathe away or Ana Juan floors me or Igor Oleynikov makes me shake my head in amazement, and… It’s a tough thing to take the top prize every day. But most days, I’m telling you, Shan Tan’s the man.)

Friday night we went to MoMA (“Uh… no, he’s just a friend.”) where my mind was primarily on art but couldn’t help recalling passages from Seen Art? by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, so really my mind was on what? Children’s books.

Whom did I meet on Saturday? The Fuse, a.k.a. Betsy Bird, a children’s librarian at the New York Public Library’s Donnell Library Center, who writes a stellar, updated-so-often-I-can’t-fathom-how-she-does-it blog about what? Children’s books.

While we were visiting Betsy she showed us the real Winnie the Pooh and a few magnificent paintings N.C. Wyeth did for what? Children’s books.

On Sunday Gareth and I went to the Museum of Natural History where we spent ages in the Butterfly Conservatory pointing like over-excited children at every beautiful thing that fluttered by while I compared our experience to the one had by Velma Gratch in the book Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly by Alan Madison, wonderfully illustrated by Kevin Hawkes. This is one of my favorite picture books on the Random House Fall 2007 list of what? Children’s books.

I could go on, but you get the idea. I could also say that I need to get a life, but I have one. And it’s saturated with children’s books!!

4 thoughts on “Storied City

  1. JILL SAGINARIO

    I wish! Update: after much bothering various people, I FINALLY got my hands on the galley! It’s amazing, as usual. Thanks for being so on top of the game. I wouldn’t want to get caught red-faced in the fall when the book comes out & I not having read it!

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