Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Sheep & Wool Festival

Baaab and I have our suitcases packed. We're heading for the New York State Sheep & Wool Festival, Saturday and Sunday, October 21 and 22 in Rhinebeck, NY. Merritt Bookstore is putting on Tales of Yarn storytimes and selling all manner of sheep books. C'mon over!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Board books galore

One of the nice things about the sheep books is seeing new versions of old friends. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has brought four of them out with a new look, and Costco is selling Sheep Trick or Treat as part of a Halloween set. The sheep are pleased to see these sturdy new editions--and the good company they're in in their box of books.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Sheep Festival 2016

Baaab and I returned to the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival October 15 and 16, an extravaganza of handsome ovines, knitwear, yarn, weaving, and books. Susanna Hill, Iza Trapani, John Churchman, and I told stories with Merritt Bookstore at the Tales of Yarn spot. Great to meet with sheep enthusiasts again!
John reads Brave Little Finn.
Iza helps Susanna tell Can't Sleep Without Sheep.
Susanna, me, and Sheep in a Jeep.
Cecily takes the wheel--undoubtedly driving better than the sheep she replaced.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Joy of Colleagues

A special treat about being a children's author is the company of other authors. I recently got to be on a Celebration of Children's Books panel at Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan with   Debbie Diesen, Debbie Gonzales, Maripat Perkins, Shutta Crum, and Lisa Wheeler, and it was a delight to hear them talk about their craft and to meet SHU students.
Before the program: me, organizer Sally Kruger, authors Debbie Gonzales. Debbie Diesen, Lisa Wheeler, Shutta Crum, Maripat Perkins, and English Program Chair Matthew Barbee
Coming up, a return to the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, New York, on October 15 and 16, where I will join Iza Trapani and Susanna Hill in Tales of Yarn--we'll all tell sheep stories. John Churchman will be there with The SheepOver. Thanks to Merritt Books of Millbrook for putting this on.
Susanna, Iza, and me.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Road Trip, Part 3

A special pleasure of visiting the D. C. area is the chance to work with An Open Book Foundation, which brings authors and illustrators into area schools and provides a free book to each student in the classes they visit. I got to talk to the fourth graders of Wheaton Woods Elementary in Rockville, MD, about Elena's Story, in which a Guatemalan girl reads to her brother and mother. Quite a few of the Wheaton Woods students read to their families, too. I got to read stories some students wrote after the program, and signed everyone's books.
Thanks, An Open Book, for these gifts!

These writers got right to work.

A chance for conversation

Diana Rojas and Janet Zwick of An Open Book Foundation, which organized the visit.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Road Trip, Part 2

I am always happy to meet sheep on my travels. I visited Mount Vernon in May for the first time. Besides learning that George Washington was his own architect--and that the stately mansion is faced with wood, mocked up to look like stone with varnish, sand, and paint--I didn't know how much of an innovator he was in farming. He studied up on crop rotation, composting, and what breeds of animals worked best. He had some Leicester sheep, known for the fine quality of their wool, and some rather-more-assorted-looking creatures. The ones in the rail-fenced pasture had goat-like faces.

Luckily, there was someone I could ask--a demonstrator who explained that the motley sheep had come from Hog Island, a barrier island off Virginia where Europeans had put them in the 18th century. The Hog Island sheep are rare and are re-enactor flocks for Mount Vernon and Colonial Williamsburg. Maybe they could have historical misadventures with my crew.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Road Trip, Part 1

We enjoyed the Gaithersburg Book Festival so much last year, we made the 500-mile trip again, and despite the mud and rain, we were glad we made it. Here are some pictures from the May 21 event:
My sister Elly Shaw-Belblidia and I got to introduce author-illustrator Timothy Young and watch him draw what comes out of a box.
Timothy was paired with Steve Light, who drew the ship from his new book Swap.
A sign-language interpreter helped Cece Bell and Aaron Reynolds introduce Chuck and Woodchuck and President Squid.
CSpan recorded E. J. Dionne's interview on his new book.
Longbourn author Jo Baker and The Race for Paris author Meg Waite Clayton talked about their new novels on Paris in World War II.

All in all, a good day to get under a tent and listen to book people!