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.”
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.
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.
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.
Audrey Vernick and Kate Samworth
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.
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?