(http://www.redballoonbookshop.com/) I was honored to create a poster to commemorate this event and at 11 AM I was scheduled to sign said posters. Not content to just sign, I handed out sheets of paper with the banner already printed on them, poured crayons and markers on the floor of the store and let all of the young artists make their own anniversary posters for the Red Balloon. This bookstore has been unbelievably supportive of my books. From publication parties to book festivals to school visits, The Red Balloon Bookshop is at the top of my gratitude list.
The next day was the 60th anniversary of the Kerlan Collection, at the U of Minnesota. (http://special.lib.umn.edu/clrc/kerlan/index.php) A luncheon attended by lovers and creators of children's literature started the event followed by a lecture from one of their best known researchers, Leonard Marcus. There was a wonderful exhibit of some of their holdings, including pieces by Wanda Gag, Gustave Tenggren, Jeannette Winter, and many more. (They even had a few sketches of mine from Our Family Tree and Fold Me A Poem, which thrilled me to be in such company!) Many of Minnesota's great authors and illustrators were in attendance and I loved having the opportunity to converse, discuss and celebrate what we do. I am grateful to live in an area of the country where children's literature is so valued.
I woke up Monday morning, after this weekend of festivities feeling like the luckiest person in the world! I am so thankful to be able to write and paint what has meaning to me and then offer it to the world. What a gift.