Books, readers and friends

I had a wonderful time at the Albany Children’s Books Festival yesterday. I met readers of all ages, teachers, librarians, even a school principal. Dozens of children, and a few adults, folded paper boxes and cranes with the help of my trusted assistant, the patient and extraordinary-good-sport, Abby. (Thank you!) The organizers of the Festival did a terrific job keeping us fed and hydrated, and were helpful at every turn.

I participated in a panel on the challenges of chidren’s book publishing with Amanda Marrone, Barbara Dee, Lyn Miller-Lachmann, and David Hyde Costello. We had an excellent turnout, with some great questions from the audience. It was good to hear all the different experiences we had getting ourselves published–with many lessons that overlapped.

One of the fun things about book festivals, beside all the gorgeous books that threaten to bankrupt me, are all the authors and artists I get to meet. I sat between the talented Jeannine Atkins and Karen Beil. They were a whole lot of fun to schmooze with during the occasional lulls. We had a mini Class of 2k7 reunion, with Eric Luper, Jo Knowles, Rose Kent, and Aimee Ferris. It’s great to see us all doing so well in our careers! I finally met Amy Gordon whose The Gorillas of Gill Park has been a long-time family favorite. I ran into the indefatigable Katie Davis whom I hadn’t seen in about ten years. And there were so many more!

A big thank you goes to the Festival’s organizers and the students at the Albany Academies, who made the day run as smoothly as it did.

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