Friday, May 7, 2010

Write on the Hudson

On 5/1/10, I was one of 100 authors signing books at the 2nd annual Hudson Children’s Book Festival. (It was my first and hopefully first annual.)

I was thrilled to catch up with infrequently-seen friends (Mark Shulman, Kate Feiffer, Alan Katz, Katie Davis), meet some e-friends in person for the first time (Doreen Rappaport, Jennifer Berne, Richard Michelson), and make new friends.

One of them bears special mention. She’s a firecracker named Muriel Harris Weinstein.
When Louis Armstrong Taught Me to Scat (Chronicle) is her first picture book—and she is 86 years old.

Muriel further reeled me in by mentioning that her next book (which is, I believe, for adults) “breaks all the rules of biography.” This is a topic I champion whenever possible.

An event of the scope of this festival takes savvy planning—and the hard work showed. The gym was filled with Superman-colored tables stacked with books manned by double the number of authors as last year. According to the organizers, the attendance was also up (and possibly the humidity, too).

In the pre-doors-open quiet

An e-mail thread has been pinging around since then with all authors copied, and the reviews are unanimous—this event rocked.

On the scenic drive back, friend/neighbor/YA author Sarah Darer Littman and I stopped to photograph some of the quirky sights of the Hudson Valley. Though not the Batcave, my favorite was this:

Don’t balk at the price. It’s two stories.

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