Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Road trip recap...

It's been quite a busy couple of weeks since last I posted.

The family and I drove down from Northampton to New Orleans for this year's ALA Conference, but before we left I had a chance to meet & hear Tomi Ungerer speak at the Eric Carle Museum, where a retrospective is currently on exhibit.  It's a great show, you should go (also the Barbara McClintock show in the middle gallery is amazing).  A host of folks came out to see Tomi, who hadn't been in the states for a few decades, but hadn't lost his edge. Everyone had a great time at a meal afterwards.

Norton and myself at the Carle Museum seeing eye to eye on something or other.

Early the next morning, we hit the road!  It was a grand road-trip exploring various towns (and their FOOD) while visiting with some pals.

Highlights include a lunch with this year's Ruben winner Richard Thompson and his wife, dinner with an old pal from NYC days, Maggie Litton and ex-MAD magazine editor Nick Meglin and their partners, a lovely evening with Eric and Bobbie Carle, and a few days with Peter DeSeve and family.  Amongst the fun, lots of talk centered around cartoons, illustration, books and old war stories.

Fellow Harpo enthusiast R Thompson teaches me how to make a "Gookie".
Will I become a butterfly?
It was also great fun to be in my hometown of New Orleans, see some old pals, and hang with librarians and their ilk. We had a fantastic dinner with the Geisel Committee, which recognized Elephant and Piggie's WE ARE IN A BOOK! with a Geisel Honor in a ceremony at the convention.  The floor of the convention center was packed with publishing pals, librarian friends new and old, and the likes of old pals like Bryan Collier, Brian Selznick, Dan Santat, Daniel Handler, Chris Myers, Kate DiCamillo, Kevin Henkes, Lane Smith, Bob Shea, Rick Riordan, and so many more.

Kate DiCamillo gave me a temporary tattoo...
We had signings in New Orleans and Savannah, GA, plus a sooper-sneak peek reading of next spring's new Pigeon book, THE DUCKLING GETS A COOKIE?! at ALA, which I am relieved to say was well received.

The big news while I was away: Elephant and Piggie's brand new adventure, SHOULD I SHARE MY ICE CREAM? debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list.  This is my second #1 book and just as big a thrill as the first.



  The following week, the book was at #3 and joined on the list by WE ARE IN A BOOK! at #7.  Wow.  Thanks to you for your support!

Speaking of support, here are a few videos that I was asked to make for ALA speaking out in support of libraries.  Check out the site, lots of cool folks have good stuff to say about how important libraries are for all communities.

Now, back to work....