Insufficient Thanks with a Surprise Twist Ending
You may wonder how this post has any relevance to children’s literature. Trust me. There’s a connection.
So I had my baby shower the other day for Future Test Unit #1 (we’re playing with online pseudonyms at the moment) and it was a blast. It was held here in the main branch of NYPL and featured (amongst many delicious foodstuffs) these little tiny cupcakes from Baked by Melissa that just have to be seen to be believed:
Most dangerous substance known to man. Bar none. It doesn’t take much coaxing to find my stuffing 15 of those in my mouth at the same time. Seriously.
In any case, it had all been arranged by my superhero boss Louise with help from some friends and family. And surprise of all surprises, my sister showed up! You should know that my sister is a purple mohawked actress living in L.A. She’s like me, only she can act and do things with her hair that I would never dare (ex: I’ve never even gotten highlights).
So Kate, my sister, had an idea for a cool gift for me. Cool’s not quite the word for it. Epic might be closer. She knew that
A: I like children’s books and
B: I would probably want my child to read them.
So she systematically tracked down as many authors and illustrators as she could via my blog and asked them to send my Baby Bird a gift. And these folks, who honestly had no reason on this good green earth to do so, bent over backwards to accomodate. They didn’t have to. And yet.
End Result: 84 books from 58 authors and illustrators. Signed.
Amazing, right? I mean, imagine sitting at a baby shower and finding four BOXES of signed books from authors and illustrators of every stripe. It was overwhelming. So a great big thank you to the following in no particular order:
Alison Ashley Formento
Melanie Hope Greenberg
Julia DeVillers/Jennifer Roy
Sarah Deford Williams
Cynthia von Buhler
Robin Preiss Glasser
Liz Garton Scanlon
Marc Tyler Nobleman
Overwhelming? Humbling? Jaw-dropping? Doesn’t begin to cover it. Guys, I am overawed. This was, without a doubt, the nicest present ever.
Now comes the . . . uh . . . well, the twist, let’s say. Kate’s an enthusiastic soul. I like to say she never does things by halves. And she had this swell idea. But Kate’s gift had one teensy tiny flaw. Back in November I mentioned to her some of the baby names we were bandying about. So Kate asked the authors and the illustrators to sign the books to the potential girl name: Molly.
The trouble? We’re not naming the kid Molly. Honestly, by January we’d scrapped it in favor of the real name.
So as of right now I’ve 84 books in my home, many of them signed to a mysterious “Molly”. It was almost enough to make Matt and me wonder if we should reconsider the name. Not really, though. You don’t want to be guilted into babynaming after all. The books, therefore, will be thoroughly read by my child and shall heretofore be referred to as The Molly Books.
So THANK YOU! Many of you went above and beyond the call of duty (Kathi Appelt, Aaron Zenz, and Kate DiCamillo come to mind in this respect). I cannot thank you enough and this is an inadequate way of doing so, but due to pregnancy carpal tunnel (how had I never heard of this before?) it must suffice. You guys are amazing. And Kate, you’re pretty cool too.
By the way, if you’d like to get a glimpse at the world’s worst baby shower cakes of all time, the true antithesis of my delightful tiny cupcakes, seek ye no further than this post. That meatloaf baby is ah-gonna haunt my dreams tonight, I just know it. Thanks to Steve for the link!
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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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