Fuse #8 Weekly Recap
New Feature! At heart I’m a lazy woman who would rather attend things than speak about them. This week, however, I had to deal with an embarrassment of riches. So to encourage these people to keep on inviting me, I’m going to start doing little teeny tiny recaps of the events in question. Besides, some of them are funny enough that I’d feel bad not sharing them.
- Monday, May 11th: CBC Breakfast, Little Brown and Company Librarian Preview (recap pending), Prince Caspian screening
- Tuesday, May 12th: Nothing. Eight hours of sleep.
- Wednesday, May 13th: Smarties publishing party at Gstaad
- Thursday, May 14th: Ezra Jack Keats Awards
- Friday, May 15th: Final farewell dinner between the remaining members of the Central Children’s Room (and a Dance, Dance, Library Revolution party that I unfortunately opted out of because I had to work on Saturday)
- Saturday, May 16th: Children’s and YA Literary Cafe
So let’s look at a couple of these events and see what they were like.
1. CBC Breakfast: As you may know, May 12th through May 18th this year is Children’s Book Week. As the Children’s Book Council describes it "Since 1919, Children’s Book Week has been celebrated nationally in schools, libraries, bookstores, clubs, private homes-any place where there are children and books. Educators, librarians, booksellers, and families have celebrated children’s books and the love of reading with storytelling, parties, author and illustrator appearances, and other book related events." In the past this kind of thing has happened in the fall. This year it was moved to the spring, and the kick-off breakfast was at a Commerce Bank on 42nd Street.
Allow me to repeat this: It was a bank. Not a floor above a bank. Not a floor below. Inside a working, active bank were the denizens of the children’s book publishing world, mingling amongst tellers, scary-big safes, and change machines. Jon Scieszka was particularly gleeful (not to say amazingly awake) at this event. "We’re in a bank!" No denying it (particularly when people would back into the talking change machine during the speeches).
Scieszka, our National Ambassador, did the honors. He noted the location ("I’d like to thank Brian Selznick for allowing us to visit his bank"), and Leonard Marcus was on hand to talk a little about the history of children’s books as well as sign his own, Minders of Make-Believe: Idealists, Entrepreneurs, and the Shaping of American Children’s Literature (note to self: read). Then little prizes were handed out. Brian Selznick was on hand to collect one. All in all it was a very nice little kick-off. Past CBC events have been at 7:00 at night and involved large bowls of M&Ms. This one had bagels. No objections on my end (particularly when they let me take about 10 cookies back to my workplace for my eternally hungry library pages).
Here is Jon doing his thing:
And here I am with Bill Kartalopoulos of Raw Junior, Inc.
Thanks to Melanie Greenberg for the pics!
2. The Smarties in Publishing Party: The final one, actually. I received an email that read as follows:
After a long run doing monthly networking events with our wonderful colleagues in the publishing industry, Jessica and I have decided to call time on SIP – a.k.a. Smarties in Publishing.
We’ve loved making so many friends and running this group (which was initially co-founded by Nadia Cornier) and have gained much from casual discussions of topics covering anything from careers in publishing, cover art, graphic novels, what makes a big book, and the finances of the book biz. Two years on, we’re grateful to all who helped make it such a fun and informative group. Thank you.
Aw. Well the farewell to the group (which consists of editors, agents, and people in marketing) met in a little room called The Cabin at a bar in the godforsaken 26th Street area called Gstaad. It was called "The Cabin" because when you walk into it the dim lighting and comfy chairs do indeed give you the sense that you’re in a backwoods somewhere. To our amusement someone at the bar had placed at copy of Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer on a shelf above us. I got into a host of lovely conversations, primarily with the good people of Little Brown who were there in full force. It was a lot of fun. Hopefully I’ll see these people at a Kidlit Drink Night (Monday!) sometime.
3. The Ezra Jack Keats Book Award – The new writer and new illustrator awards are, according to the website, "given annually to an outstanding new writer of picture books for children (age 9 and under) and are presented jointly by the New York Public Library and the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation." Groovy. This year the award winners were Jonathan Bean for New Illustrator and David Ezra Stein for New Author. Both soft-spoken fellows attended (as did their families) and they gave great speeches. Best of all, I got to see what Mr. Bean actually looked like. Quite a nice fellow. You may wonder why there are no pictures. I was working the reference desk at the time, I’m afraid, so no pics did I take. Rest assured that the turnout was magnificent and the fellows did not disappoint. A fine time was had by all.
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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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