Well, I got caught up in the madness that is BookExpo, and didn’t have enough energy to blog at the end of the day. BookExpo took place at the Staples Convention Center in downtown LA, which is a HUGE place. Half of the exhibits were at one end of the building, and the other half were at the other end, which was a block away! I tried to be methodical in planning my day, but ended up traipsing back and forth anyway.
The good news is that I saw wonderful books, many of which I ordered for the store. Sleeping Bear Press has a book called Titanicat about a young boy who’s slated to cross the Atlantic on the Titanic and what happens with his cat (I don’t want to give away the story, but it gave me goosebumps!) I also found INCREDIBLY soft Peter Rabbits and Guess How Much I Love You bunnies, which we’ll have in a couple of weeks; and talking Charlie & Lola dolls, as well as Marv’s dog, Sizzles, which will ship this August. I ordered some books in French, which will take a while to arrive, since they’re coming from France! I got some recommendations from the woman who’s in charge of the children’s classes at our local L’Alliance Francaise, so we should have some really good titles.
One of the highlights of the convention was a chance to meet Alexandra Day, the author of the Good Dog, Carl books, with her current companion, a female Rottweiler who looks just like Carl. When Ms. Day said “bang,” the dog played dead; the dog also did high fives and lots of other tricks, especially anything that involved a tennis ball. Ms. Day was promoting a new book from Laughing Elephant Press called Hooray For Dogs. I told her that we would absolutely HAVE to have the book in Hooray For Books!, so look for it in the coming weeks!
I also met Jon Scieszka and David Shannon, who are collaborating on a new series called Trucktown, which features characters such as “Jack Truck” and “Dump Truck Dan.” We have Smash! Crash! in the store right now, and will order new titles as they’re available. I invited both of them to visit the bookstore in the fall, during the 2008 National Book Festival, so we’ll see if they take me up on the invitation!
In his role as the Library of Congress’ first National Ambassador of Young People’s Literature, Jon Scieszka opened the annual Children’s Author/Illustrator Breakfast, which turned out to be one of the funniest breakfasts I’ve ever attended. The MC was Eoin Colfer of Artemis Fowl fame, who is a very witty Irishman who looks a little bit like a leprechaun! He introduced the other panelists — Sherman Alexie, author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, the coming-of-age story of a young misfit on an Indian reservation; Neil Gaiman, author of Coraline, which has been made into a movie which comes out soon; and JUDY BLUME. It was a tremendous pleasure to see and hear as she talked about her years as a children’s author (she just turned 70 and looks fabulous!). Neil blogs a bit about the panel at his site – sounds like he enjoyed it as much as the audience did!
The time change is catching up with me — more later.