Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Wrapping Up the Weekend.

Well, tomorrow took longer to get here than I thought! In fact, it took almost a week! But here I am to finish the story. Let's see, I left off after seeing the amazing William Joyce. I had one more goal for the day but I was getting pretty tired from standing around in lines and hiking around the enormous convention center. Have I told you how enormous the convention center was? One attendee joked on twitter that not only did the exhibit floor have its own time zone but the exhibitor directory had its own gravitational pull! This is only a small exaggeration! The place is large. I couldn't help but think of all the money going into and circulating around this convention, which is a definite boon to the New Orleans economy. In fact, this is the second ALA conference to be held in New Orleans since Katrina. ALA was the first organization to hold a conference at the convention center in New Orleans after the devastating floods caused by Katrina, which contributed significantly to the city's recovery. Yes, librarians rock.

So, by this time I was getting tired and actually debating whether or not I should I just go back to my hotel or wait a bit longer and get one more book signed. Well, I thought about that book, and the author and illustrator who would be there to sign the book, and I thought of the Marshall Lane kids and knew I had to stay. The author and illustrator were Jenny Offill and Nancy Carpenter and their book is '17 Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore,' a favorite read aloud at Marshall Lane. It was a good thing I stayed because, as it turns out, there is a sequel to the book called '11 Experiments That Failed' and it's equally as hilarious! The book was hot off the presses. So hot, in fact, that the creators hadn't seen it yet in it's final form. The book is due to be released in September and the publisher had brought their first batch of books to the conference and I bought the first one so that makes the first person in the world to own this book! (I bought it for the library though, so the library is first!) How special is that? Here is a picture of the author and illustrator. I'm not in this picture because by this time I was too tired and wilted to bother.

So that ended my day. Mr. Richards and I went out for some delicious food and then I went to bed. The next day, I had just two objectives and, again, I showed up early so I could get a good spot in line. And again, Success! Can you guess who I'm with in this picture?If you guessed Judy Blume, you'd be wrong, oh so wrong. If you guessed Mo Willems, you'd be right! Yes! That's me (again with the squeee! face) and Mo Willems! He was signing his brand new book, 'Should I Share My Ice Cream?' a Gerald and Piggie book and it's just as delightful as you would expect. And look who else I got a picture with! Yes! It's Gerald and Piggie! Who were at least as popular as Mr. Willems himself, if not more.

Now, all this time on the exhibitor floor added up to me having a lot of books and stuff to take home with me, which I wasn't thinking about as I was collecting all this stuff. How was I going to get all this stuff home on the plane? Well, lucky for me, they had a post office set up right there on the exhibitor floor! So that was my second objective, I packed up all my swag and mailed it home! And as you can see in the picture below it all arrived safely! Mr. Richards and I spent the rest of the day together enjoying food, the sights, and some music. Then Monday morning we flew home without incident.

That same Monday night we drove to Berkeley to see Neil Gaiman interviewed by Mythbuster Adam Savage for the 10th anniversary of Mr. Gaiman's groundbreaking novel American Gods. Remember lat year, I went to an American Gods gathering at The House on the Rock. Thanks to more standing in line for ages, we got a front row seat! To celebrate the anniversary, a new edition of the book was released with some material added back into it, so now it's longer! As far as I'm concerned, you can never have too much Neil Gaiman!

So that was my Book Geek Weekend, spent chasing down authors like they were rockstars because they are rockstars! Mr. Richards might call this stalking, but I disagree! The reason I do this is because when I was a kid, I wanted to be a writer. But then I decided I didn't have the talent for it, but I still love stories. And I hope that, in some small way, this little blog might encourage one or more of our students to pursue their dream of being a writer, or an illustrator. Not because crazy ladies will stalk you like you're a rock star, but because stories are important. In all their forms. Storytellers tell us the truth in fiction, they preserve our culture and histories, they frighten us and take us places, stretch our imagination and challenge our intellect. And I'm going to stop now, before this becomes a giant tangent. Next time, I will update you on my Nerd Wars tournament.

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