Monday, March 21, 2011

Thanks to you: Paris Recap

I've just returned to Knuffle Manor (and a stack of correspondence) after a fun trip to Paris that included, work, pleasure, and old pals.

First off was an afternoon & dinner with the very talented film writer & director Laurent Tirard and his kids. Laurent is an old pal from film school & a riotous trip to China.  Unfortunately, our time catching up was brief as Laurent is currently prepping for a huge Asterix & Oblisk feature. Past films include a rendition of the classic Le Petit Nicolas including this fabulous title sequence featuring work by one of my favorite cartoonists of all time, the great Sempe.

By chance, in addition to our museum* going, we happened upon a fabulous Sempe exhibit in a small gallery the next day.  Truly inspiring work.

Later in the week was an event in Monmatre, and while my French is passable, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to enlist another great friend from a separate riotous trip to China 21 years ago**, a Swiss Epicurean named Freddy Blanvillain.

Freddy currently plays accordian in a traditional French chanson dance band, which is why he brought along his ukulele.  He is also completely without shame and a great, loud reader.

Following a fabulous lunch with my French Publisher, Kaliedescope, we marched uphill to the bookstore and had a great time with the crowd that showed up for the reading.

Freddy's new wife, Marie, is a children's librarian and both of our families had great fun diving into tiny cafes and marching through the length and breadth of Paris. 

Luckily, I had pals reading my books State-side while away.  And, thanks to you, nice stuff kept happening, including Elephant and Piggie's  I Broke My Trunk spending another two weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list at #8!

There's lots more going on to post about in the coming days, including two events in Western Mass this week that I hope you'll consider dropping by if you're in the neighborhood.

Now, back to work!

*For families, I heartily second pal Brian Selznick's recommendation of the Sewer Museum, which is housed in an actual, working sewer.

**You can read about our adventures in YOU CAN NEVER FIND A RICKSHAW WHEN IT MONSOONS.