Wednesday, February 11, 2009

SCIBA Dinner or FUN IN PASADENA!

Guess who this is? My FAVORITE picture book author, EVE BUNTING. Oh, yes, and me with a dorky smile. This picture has convinced me that it's time to get new glasses!

Random House sent me to the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association's Children's Book & Literacy Dinner. Wow, that is a mouthful. The dinner (delish, especially the tiramisu) was last Saturday evening and in Pasadena. Miracle #1: I actually found Pasadena! Despite my scary and dangerous lack of sense of direction, I bravely hopped behind the wheel with my nav, a google map and a AAA map and set off all by myself to find Pasadena and, even trickier still, the Westin Hotel's underground parking. I will not tell you how many concerned calls I got on my cell, while I motored up the highway in the rain. Obviously, people do not have much faith! HOWEVER, I made it in plenty of time and even managed to stop in Chino (the city that smells like manure) at the hugest WalMart for a licorice treat.


This is just a general shot of the reception before the dinner. There was a tall yummy MOUNTAIN of cheese. I met some very cool authors including fellow Delacorte Press Author Naomi Hirahara. Naomi didn't realize that I'd been somewhat stalking her for a while via Mystery Writers of America. We'll just keep it a secret on this blog. Anyway, besides her adult mysteries plus other stuff, she's written a terrific middle-grade novel, 1001 Cranes.

Other authors I met and chatted with: the hilarious and insightful Lisa Yee (this is a link to her blog), the incredibly energetic Michael Reisman, Newbery winner Susan Patron (altho I didn't realize who I was talking to at the time! Yikes!) and the calming, Zen-like Hope April Smith (sorry, I couldn't find a link) and the best emcee in the world Pam Munoz Ryan. She also has great hair.

There were lots of other authors (one per dinner table, miracle #2: I did not spill anything), but those were the ones I managed to talk with. I can say that I was definitely the giddy, wide-eyed new kid on block. I had a A LOT of fun chatting with booksellers, librarians, and teachers. I hope they had fun too.

Thank you Random House for this great opportunity. Thank you Mary from The Yellow Book Road who helped set this up and who brought me a brand-new hardback copy of The Wednesday Surprise. Thank you Jennifer Bigelow, SCIBA organizer who made me feel so welcome and told me how much she liked me. Thank you to all the super friendly booksellers, librarians and teachers. Somehow, I don't think this post has managed to capture the fun and excitement of the evening. But, truly, I would participate again in a heartbeat. And I might try the vegetarian meal next time.

Miracle #3: On Sunday, I made it all the way to Irvine for water polo (Child #2 and Child #3).



The Wednesday Surprise
is my favorite picture book and my favorite Eve Bunting picture book in the entire world. I cannot read it without tearing up. It is that good. You will love it. If you don't already.



Last, but certainly not least, here's a super delightful book review of I So Don't Do Mysteries on A Maze and a Maraca BY NINE YEAR OLD WINNIE! She must be a child genius!

29 comments:

Mrs. O said...

Eve Bunting is my favorite picture book author, too! I use her book The Wall to teach about Veteran's Day and the kids always get it because it is so moving. Going to look up The Wednesday Surprise and get all teary now. Great post Barrie.

Charles Gramlich said...

Sounds like you had a good time and got to do some smooshing. Excellent!

~Virginia~ said...

my survey of children's lit course has reawakened my love of picture books! i'll have to check out eve's books!

PJ Hoover said...

Sounds like an amazing time!

Sarakastic said...

I love the hair. Love isn't even a strong enough word.

Michele said...

What a wonderful event!

Glad you made it to Pasadena easily... And to Walmart for licorice! Yum. :)

beckylevine said...

That is perhaps the best review I've ever read. What a kid! What a reader! What a book! :)

Teresa said...

Congratulations, Barrie, on the great review. I loved your description of the dinner in Pasadena. It sounds like a wonderful experience.

Laura said...

WOW - sounds like a blast! Ya for you!!!! What accomplishments! I was just impressed with your great published book - and now, the other mircle accomplishments make you Goddess-like to me!

Lady Glamis said...

That is the sweetest review!

Vodka Mom said...

OMG!!!! I am one JEALOUS bitch right now. I am so glad you rocked that dinner.......


:-) Thanks for the fantastic post.

laughingwolf said...

super, barrie... but how come there are no books?

Kathy Holmes said...

How fun! I can't wait to take a breather in-between wips and edit my picture book. It's such a personal story for me I must publish it one way or another.

And on the glasses - I have a similar pair in red - and I hope there's some new style waiting out there because these are a pain - always sliding down my nose and falling off - but that's about all you could find a couple of years ago - they were so "in."

Rebecca Hickman said...

You look great and I love your glasses!

Passage of a Woman said...

What a great review! Congratulations. Glad you had a good time, and didn't get lost!

Bookworm said...

I loved Eve Bunting when I was little. So cool you got to meet some great authors!

Barbara Martin said...

It looks like you had a wonderful time mixing with those writerly types, and of course, food is prime reason to attend.

Your glasses slide down your nose just like mine do. They probably just need a bit of adjustment.

Bina said...

Sounds like you had a GREAT time! And wow. That little girl really does love your book! How are the sales going, anyway? I mean, I don't know how that type of thing works, but are you selling a lot? And your next one comes out in October or December? I can't remember.

Barrie said...

Well, Bina, I So Don't Do Mysteries just went into a 2nd printing.... But it couldn't hurt if you all went out and each bought a box of books! :)

Lauren said...

I love that book review that your little fan Winnie did!

Sounds like you had a great time networking and hanging out with other industry people.:)

Stacy said...

Sounds like a fun time.

Keri Mikulski said...

What a great time! And thanks for the picture book recommendation! :)

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Way to think ahead! I say go for that vegetarian meal!

Don't worry...you made it sound like loads of fun--glad you made it to Pasadena unscathed.

Patti said...

you had me at yummy mountain of cheese...

gabe said...

My claim to fame? Talking to someone who had
her photo taken with Eve Bunting.
Congrats on the 2nd printing!!!

Junosmom said...

I love Eve Bunting! My girls are past that age, but now I'm reading to my son so I can look for those favorites all over again.

Sarahlynn said...

Gentle on the glasses! Because mine are very similar. ;)

pattinase (abbott) said...

I am off to get this for my grandson. Isn't it nice to meet people you admire.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I am off to get this for my grandson. Isn't it nice to meet people you admire.