Thank you, Susie, for driving 10 hours roundtrip!

Hi everyone,

Home again and ready for a work week with few breaks, the first such week in quite a while. My sincere appreciation to Susie Wilson Foote (whose charming daughter Emily Susanne took this picture) for driving five hours to the festival in Rochester from Redding Pennsylvania, a trip of 280 miles.
Susie, brought an old copy of THE BOY WITH A DRUM for me to sign. Holding a copy of my first book back in 1969 brought back an instant flood of warm memories. I’m not only slimmer now, I think I also grew a couple of inches taller!

A very nice day in Rochester, New York

Hi everyone,

Busy, fun day yesterday at the Rochester Children’s Book Festival. Thousands of people came through during the course of the day and I thoroughly enjoyed being part of it. Here are two pictures, one before they opened the doors at 10:00 a.m. and one at the end of the day at 4:00 p.m. Of the eleven of my titles the festival folks had ordered, a few copies were left representing four titles (one more sold after this picture was taken.

I’m grateful to the co-leaders of this year’s event, Barbara Underhill and Vicki Schultz as well as the numerous volunteers who performed all sorts of tasks that made the festival so successful. I loved being with friends — MJ and Herm Auch, Jane Yolen, Heidi E.Y.Stemple, Vivian Vande Velde, and Nikki Grimes — plus dozens of other active and productive authors and artists.

Now for home. I took work to keep me busy on flights going and returning, but during the extended layover in Chicago going, I finished it all. I was “forced” to work on a poem.

Word of the Day word, from Rochester

Hi everyone,

Greetings from Rochester Children’s Book Festival. I arrived yesterday after a long day trying to get American Airlines to fly me from Chicago on the second leg of the trip. After changing gates twice (involving long hikes to opposite ends of the terminal) and a lot of delays, I made it and saw some incredible clouds along the way.

Last night I enjoyed a wonderful dinner among many of the other guest authors and artists who were here. And today the peeps come to buy books, talk to authors, and listen to book talks. It promises to be another great day.

All of which explains why I didn’t get November’s Word of the Month word published on time. Don’t think about that excuse too long. It may not hold up. Anyway, the new word is HACK — not a pleasant sounding word but one with multiple meanings that should cough up some fun poems. Go!

Rochester coming up next

Hi everyone,

Next thing coming up for me is the Rochester Children’s Book Fair on Saturday, November 2, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm on the campus of Monroe Community College in Rochester, New York.
I’m delighted to be returning to this popular event. Here are the 50 authors and artists who will participate this year.
MJ and Herm Auch
Sue Beckhorn
Julie Berry
Kathleen Blasi
Susannah Buhrman-Deever
Jennifer Cahall- 1:15-4:00pm
Laurie Calkhoven
Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Peter Catalanotto
Matt Chandler
Patricia Cost- 1:00-4:00pm
JN Courtney- 10:00am-1:00pm
Bruce Coville
Jerry Craft
Wendy Dunham
Annette Dunn- 1:00-4:00pm
Elizabeth Falk
Jackie Fisher
Raul (the Third) Gonzalez
Nikki Grimes
David Harrison
Marsha Hayles
James Howe
Will Hubbell
Keely Hutton
Joanne Russo Insull- 10:00am-1:00pm
Joy Keller
Michelle Knudsen
Kevin Kurtz
Mylisa Larsen
Matt McElligott
Rose O’Keefe
Andrea Page
Linda Sue Park- 10:00am-1:00pm
Margaret Pence- 1:15-4:00pm
Tiffany Polino
Robin Pulver
Dee Romito
Mark Shulman
Kelly Starling Lyons
Heidi Stemple
Tui Sutherland
Peggy Thomas
Rich Unkel (Damon M. Piletz)
Sally Valentine
Vivian Vande Velde
Ellen Stoll Walsh
Jane Yolen
Elizabeth Zunon

My time to give a book talk/reading is 11:20 that morning. I’ve chosen CRAWLY SCHOOL FOR BUGS, one of my own favorites. Bruce Colville comes after me and I hope I have a chance to hang around long to hear him.

Nice honor for Rochester Children’s Book Festival

Hi everyone,

I was impressed by the festival I just attended in Rochester, New York. There were 44 authors and artists in a large room seated behind tables stacked with their books and ready to sign. At 10:00 a.m. the doors opened and people came flooding in. There were children, parents, teachers, librarians, and others in the crowd and they went around the room from table to table to meet the folks who created the books. Total attendance must have been in the thousands but I haven’t heard an official total.

Soon after I returned home I learned that a community literary center in Rochester, Writers & Books, recently awarded the Rochester Children’s Book Festival their Writers & Books Big Pencil Award, which is presented to “individuals and organizations that have impacted the appreciation of literature and contributed significantly in the advancement, creation, and understanding of literature in the Rochester community.”

I think that’s pretty cool and the organizers of the event must be feeling justifiably proud. My thanks and congratulations to Kathy Blasi, Sibby Falk, MJ and Herm Auch, Vivian Vande Valde (who started the whole thing fifteen years ago), Marsha Hayles . . . well, the list goes on and on. Volunteers alone totaled 103 people and everyone knew his or her job and did it beautifully.