Went to Disneyland for the first time ever four years ago so this time I had some sense of what to expect. We started in Fantasyland intending to do a few story rides. Got to the Alice one only to hear them announce that there was a problem and those on the ride should just relax as it would be repaired in 30 minutes. 30 minutes! That meant a lot of very small children in very dark tunnels in very small vehicles. We turned and did Small World instead. Came back later and did Alice, Peter Pan, and Toad. Had a very relaxing lunch of fake BBQ and watched fake cowboys yodel (sort of). Pet a donkey and a horse. Relaxed at a fake New Orleans square (remembering we’d been at the real thing a year ago) and then went on the more eye-opening of all rides — the Jungle Cruise. Scary headhunters shaking spears along with roaring animals. Really? In 2012?
Delightful dinner at Catal Restaurant with Chronicle celebrating author Ellis Weiner and his new book The Templeton Twins. Great food and conversation — Ellis wrote for National Lampoon and Spy Magazine back in the day and it was a lot of fun to reminisce about those iconic publications. Ended the evening at Macmillan’s dessert reception and saw lots of folks.
Garth Nix was very gracious as I gushed over him at the HarperCollins breakfast. May I now take a moment to recommend A Confusion of Princes — an extremely entertaining romp of a space opera.
Top secret meeting about the 2013 SLJ Battle of the Kids’ Books….shhh.
Outstanding presentations at a Penguin lunch for Middle Grade Readers. Four authors spoke, three of them discussing their process with their editors. Excellent — more of these sorts of things, please. The authors were: Adam Gidwitz (In a Glass Grimmly) Sheila Turnage (Three Times Lucky), Sheila O’Connnor (Keeping Safe Stars), and Joan Bauer (Almost Home).
A wonderful reunion with Laura Amy Schlitz, some of her Candlewick peeps, and a healthy number of my fellow 2008 Newbery Committee members.
Met Tao Nyeu at Penguin’s cocktail party and was able to let her know how much I and my fourth graders adore her books. Bunny Days was a touchstone book for them, but I think her new friendship book, Squid and Octopus may be its equal. Hurray to those boots, socks, and mittens!
And then there was Little Brown’s dinner with …. the truly one and only Lemony Snicket, or rather his representative, Daniel Handler. Managed to spill red wine all over the white table cloth (but fortunately not on anyone), converse with the always-witty Mr. Handler and his delightful wife Lisa Brown, and had an overall wonderful time. Can’t wait for the new book, Who Could That Be at This Hour?
Thanks to all the publishers and friends for such a great time so far. Now on to Sunday. Jack Gantos and Chris Raschka await!