Thank You Princeton Children’s Book Festival!

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Dreams do come true. I have been a HUGE fan of the Princeton Children’s Book Festival for as long as I can remember, and have always dreamed of participating as an author. Yesterday that amazing, incredible, you-take-my-breath away, someone-is-going-to-have-to-pinch-me dream came true.

In a nutshell: It was AWESOME! Over 100 authors and illustrators participated in this year’s festivities, the 10th anniversary of the Princeton Children’s Book Festival. I felt like a kid in a candy store. I wanted to ask everyone about their books, craft, and tell them HOW MUCH I LOVE THEIR WORK in a not-so-stalkerish kind of way. But in a mildly stalkerish way, I managed to catch Katya Szewczuk from KidLit TV in the bathroom. Since she was sporting a pair of cat ears, I figured she might be game for a quick hello and then the barrage of “OMG! I am such a HUGE fan.”

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Detectives Wilcox and Griswold 

My dauntless detectives, Wilcox and Griswold, from The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake, were on the job. They had taped off the crime scene area under the purple tent at table #4 and had taken a GAZILLION mug shots of potential suspects identified as avid readers.

The day flew by faster than I can say “Publishing Contract” 500 times, and aside from mug shots, I had few opportunities to take photos.

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Matt Myklusch, Emily Christie Burack and Samantha Berger

But I was extremely fortunate to have been table “roomies” with the great Matt Myklusch and Samantha Berger. I only had a brief chance to catch up with the amazing Ame Dyckman, Audrey Vernick, Kate Samworth, Beth Ferry, Monica Wellington, Kristine Lombardi, Emily Christie Burack, and my old school friend, Nick Bruel.

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Matt Myklusch, me, and Samantha Berger

The festivities ended with a wonderful picnic at the home of Joanne and Deanne, the booksellers for this incredible event.

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Ame Dyckman

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Audrey Vernick and Kate Samworth

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Allyn Howard, Kristine Lombardi, and Monica Wellington 

On my way back to the garage, I paused one last time to take a look at the Princeton Public Library when I noticed a quote from Jorge Luis Borges. During my junior year abroad I spent an entire year (yes, you read correctly!) studying Borges. At the time I very much had a love-hate relationship with him for challenging me as a reader, writer, and student. He kept me up at 3:00 am with three different dictionaries (French-Spanish, Spanish-English, and French-English), and my notes reflected the madness of his textual labyrinths. Anyway, it seemed very fitting that the last words that I saw on my way out were his.

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Thank you Allison Santos and the amazing team at the Princeton Children’s Book Festival. I am certain that you all must have super powers for putting this incredible event together. I cannot wait until next year’s festival.

p.s. Mr. Borges, I think you’re right. Paradise has to be a library. What else could it be?

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32 comments on “Thank You Princeton Children’s Book Festival!

  1. So the Princeton festival occurred the same day/weekend as the Brooklyn one? I was confusing the two at first. :} How funny that Nick Bruel is an old school friend of yours! I’m very fond of his Bad Kitty books. 🙂 Thanks for all the who’s who of kid lit photos! Looks like such fun.

  2. Robin, this brought tears to my eyes, my dear. Each time I’ve seen a pal their first time on the “other side” of the table, it makes me SO happy 😀 Of course, you know the tizzy I was in trying to get all of my books, then get all of them signed (and I couldn’t believe it took the whole day!), so I never made it back for my mug shot *sigh* I WILL get one! I hope you bring the detective paraphernalia with you to next year’s conference 😀 SO happy for you and the after-picnic looks like it was some nice, casual fun 🙂 Congrats on ALL of this! oxox

    • Thanks, Donna! I wish the day had been longer. Detectives mentioned that you’re one of their prime suspects. Be prepared for mugshots and fingerprinting at the next conference. 🙂 Looking forward to reading your festival recap. xo

  3. I’m so happy you had such a wonderful time at book fair. I love Nick Bruel and Samantha Berger’s work. Hope your book received a lot of attention — it’s so unique. Glad you fulfilled your dream!

  4. Katya is a KidLit treasure! I’m so happy you got to meet her, even if it was in the bathroom; since you’re both potty trained I’m sure all went well … 🙂

  5. Pingback: UP!–The 2015 PRINCETON BOOK FESTIVAL! | Writer Side UP!

  6. I really need to convince my Mom to take me to this. It sounds really awesome! (by the way – how is Mr. Myklusch?)
    On the other hand, have you ever been to the Lititz KidLit Festival (in Lititz) (I think it is now called LITitz Alive)? I think it’s on November 14th this year.

    • Erik, I LOVE the Princeton Children’s Book Festival. Thrilled to have been able to participate in this amazing event. You would have a blast! Mr. Myklusch was a wonderful table roomie! I wonder if you could participate as an author. Thanks for the info re the Lititz Festival. Will look it up.

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