Be Back, Be I
Most lovely. Vacations are awesome. I highly recommend them to each and every one of you.
Back from Stratford, I return. Ontario, of course. I doubt I’d be so cheery if I were to have just stepped off a smelly plane and taken the bus home at 2 in the morning. Instead, yesterday I drove home, stopped by IKEA (we don’t usually have a car, you see), and bought enough items to transform my home office space from Unusable Desk Area into Charming Reading Room. Fingers crossed on how long THAT will take.
I’ll not go point-by-point over my trip since I sincerely doubt you’d be interested in recaps of Niagara Falls (wet and full of woodchucks), costume warehouse tours (not wet, no woodchucks in sight), and other folderols. This being a kidlit blog, that’s where I’ll concentrate my efforts. Because my hobby is also my job, I was constantly on the look out for children’s books wherever I went. In the meantime I also found time to see productions of Comedy of Errors, Oklahoma, The Merchant of Venice (with Grahame Greene!), and An Ideal Husband.
My first thought upon entering the bookstores of Stratford was to locate titles that might not have entered the States quite yet, be they Canadian beauties or British wonders. I saw a couple of things, but nothing that particularly got my heart ah-racing. There was a rather lovely paperback edition of Fly By Night, which apparently came out when I wasn’t looking. The cover is a curious amalgamation of both the American and British images (the border owing allegiance to the latter, the picture in the center to the former). Fly By Night, should you be unfamiliar with it, was my favorite British children’s title of 2006 (my favorite American being A Drowned Maiden’s Hair). Now about getting Verdigris Deep published here in America… *cough cough*
Lest you feel that the gift shops of the various theaters about town were bereft of new children’s materials, fans of Henry Holt and Company’s Young Reader titles will be pleased as punch to hear that there were abundant copies of In Search of Mockingbird by Loretta Ellsworth lying about the place. One of the plays this season is Harper Lee’s classic, so it was more than fitting to feature Ellsworth’s book. I haven’t read it myself, but I’ll try to get my hands on it at some point here.
The loveliest kidlit related moment, however, came in getting to meet Rebecca (a.k.a. R.J.) Anderson. A Stratford resident, Ms. Anderson’s debut middle grade fantasy novel Knife is due out on bookstore shelves in 2010 via Harper Collins. 2010, people. It must be nice to know what you’ll be doing that far in the future. I haven’t a clue, personally.
In any case, Ms. Anderson was kind enough to drop everything that she was doing and hang out with me for lunch. We knew a lot of the same people, which was nice. She knows Cheryl Klein. I know Cheryl Klein. She knows the creator of The Leaky Cauldron, Melissa Anelli. I met the woman one day at Book Expo (and was pleased to hear from Rebecca that Ms. Anelli will be producing a book of her own soon).
Here Rebecca was kind enough to pose with me in a bookstore in the downtown area.
In short, I had a wonderful time. My husband is now cooing over how cool it would be to retire to Stratford. I am 29. Retirement at 29 sounds great. I’ve told him that once he secures the funds, I’m in.
Now today is Sunday and under usual circumstances I am inclined to produce literary videos of one sort or another. I make no exception today. Here, as found on the aforementioned R.J. Anderson’s Livejournal page, is a Scrabble-related bit of amusement for you.
Dunno about you but when I play Scrabble with MY Grandma, she tends to wipe the floor with me.
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About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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