Thursday, October 25, 2007

Back from NYC

and a fine trip it was. Monday evening I had the chance to meet scads of people from the child_lit listserv including its creator Michael Joseph, whose glasses I want but don't think I could pull off (him or on me). The food was just-okay--wild boar shouldn't be as boring as this one was--but the conversation was lively even before Linda Sue Park showed up with a Colin Farrell story I'll let her tell.

The next day I had a commiserative--and tasty--lunch with FSG publisher Margaret Ferguson which was its own delight and came with the bonus of a gift from editor Wes Adams--Alan Bennett's The Uncommon Reader, a novella, Wes assured me, that would provide fine entertainment for my bus trip home. Concerning itself with what might happen should the Queen conceive a passion for reading, it did, hugely. I can already see Helen Mirren doing it as a Hallmark Hall of Fame Christmas Special.

I didn't know Lloyd Alexander but he certainly had enough friends without me, many of whom spoke warmly at the celebration in his honor hosted by Cricket's Blouke and Marianne Carus. Did you know Lloyd was "Old Cricket"? Most unexpectedly hilarious was Lloyd's longtime editor Ann Durell explaining why she agreed to publish, in a fantasy-unfriendly era, what would become the Prydain series: Lloyd's agent had plied her with martinis. My old BCCB colleague Kate Pierson Jennings was there, too--she had been exchanging letters with Lloyd since she was ten years old.

Back here to the sad news that Elizabeth Watson--Horn Book Board member, longtime reviewer and past president of ALSC--had died on October 13th. Liz was great--sometimes the conversations at our old reviewer meetings could get a bit rarefied, and cutting right through it all would come Liz's cultured and authoritative contralto: "no child is going to touch that book."


Melinda said...

Lloyd Alexander was Old Cricket? No way!!! I read him for years and didn't know it!

Man, now I'm sad all over again.

Though I must say I like that little martini trick.

L'il Brother said...

Happy Birthday Big Brother!!