This past Saturday I gave a talk and signed books at the Connecticut Children’s Book Fair, which is held every year at the UConn campus in Storrs. It’s a big affair, with about 20 different authors and illustrators giving presentations. Just before my slide talk was about to start, I learned that the ordered cartons of my book, Pocketful of Posies, had not arrived. They had a few copies of Posies (from the UConn Coop), some Felt Wee Folk and Hey, Diddle, Diddle!, but that would be it. I was stunned for about 30 seconds and then decided that I wasn’t going to let this taint my weekend at the fair. People had come to see me and I would give my talk and spend time meeting them even if there wasn’t a stack of books to sign. I had brought posters, so I signed those instead of the Posies book. I met some really nice people and one woman told me that she drove 3 hours to come see my exhibit and hear my 10:15 am talk! And my husband Rob had a great time schmoozing with the other authors and illustrators and their spouses. Oh, see my new leather and carpet purse from Turkey on the table next to me.
The highlight of the evening banquet was seeing my former teacher, David Macaulay. He was one of the authors at the fair and I was hoping to have a chance to talk to him. It had been about a dozen years since we saw each other last, so we had a really nice chat, catching up and reminiscing about RISD days. I was surprised when he pointed to his lapel pin, which looked vaguely familiar. It was a stuffed cloth pyramid that I gave him when I was his student in about 1977! His Pyramid book came out around that time.
I had completely forgotten about making it. He knew I was going to be at the fair, so he wore it! I was so touched by his thoughtfulness. I spent the rest of the evening floating on air. Read about my pins here.
We saw the exhibit of my original illustrations from Pocketful of Posies on campus, at the Dodd Center.
Here’s the sign at the entrance to the gallery.
The space is perfect for small work, with lots of cases and good lighting. The curator, Terri Goldich did a great job fitting 39 illustrations into the gallery. There are some comfy chairs and a small TV at the back where you can sit and watch my Rabbitat film, too.
How nice for you to see old friends and meet new ones, and the pictures are great. I’ve had the “no books to sign” episode as well and you do panic for a second or two. The turquoise necklace – I used to have one just like that. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing your stories and the wonderful pictures.
A true test of grace under pressure, arriving at a book signing to find the books are missing. Been there too. No doubt just meeting you, listening to your talk and seeing your incredible work on
posters and the few books available enhanced their experience.
Wish I’d been there. And also, thanks for reminding us of your delightful pins.
You are so busy! What a wonderful way to be able to connect to people. The exhibit looks fantastic.
I love reading about your travels, and oh so wish you could come to the Philadelphia area. How frustrating to not have books to sign. I wonder if you could design a book plate, print a bunch, and carry them in your beautiful purse as an emergency backup.
how fun to see a teacher from the past. quite impressive to think he came to see a former student AND wore the pin! the exhibit looks lovely…
Oh, so sorry about the missing books, and so happy about David Macaulay and the pyramid pin!
Peter was happy to see you and Rob and your slides yesterday!