Thursday, May 26, 2016

The revelation of the dedication

My next book (due March 2017) is a comedy called The Chupacabra Ate the Candelabra.
hand lettering (and art—wait'll you see it) 

I had the privilege of revealing my dedication to the dedicatee during an experience that had special meaning of its own.

I have two children. The younger is currently finishing second grade. At the elementary school he attends, kindergarten through second grade run a simple program called "Secret Reader" where every few weeks, a parent of one of the students in a class shows up unannounced to read to the kids. My wife and I participated for three years when our daughter went there, then began anew with our son.

Last week was our last time. Considering that made us emotional, imagine high school graduation (or even middle school graduation).

Usually I read picture books I love, but last week, I read a few I wrote. (Not that I don't love my own, but you know what I mean.) Only they aren't books yet—they're still manuscripts.

Except for one—the layout for the aforementioned chupacabra story. And after I read the story, I got to tell my son (with my wife and daughter present, not to mention his whole class) that the book is dedicated to him. That's a first. He smiled but (perhaps true to his age) didn't share his feeling about it with me. My wife claims he was proud.

This brings to mind a story from 2008, when my daughter was four and both my son and my book Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman were less than a year old. A friend came over and saw the Boys of Steel dedication to my Girls of Steel (wife and daughter, natch). He asked why my son wasn't included.

My daughter chimed in: "Because he wasn't born yet when we made that book."


Though in the sense that our children inspire us to work hard, she was absolutely right.

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