ACK!!! This is my 5th picture book contract—and I am so excited about it!!! CLAUDE tells the surprising back story of the famous white alligator of SF’s Cal Academy. It’s about skin color, rejection, and feeling different, as well as tolerance, inclusion, and finding your place. It’s also going to be ADORABLY illustrated by the amazing Jennifer M. Potter! Yay! Look for it in fall 2020!
I’m such a slacker! I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve posted here. Well, a quick update. Last week I was finally able to share the following book deal news. This story is close to home. We know so many people affected by the 2017 Northern California fires (and in fact, we drove through them ourselves!). It felt good to be able to take something positive and inspiring out of that tragedy. I can’t wait to see how Carrie Salazar illustrates this!
My husband and I went to chilly Wisconsin this past weekend. On the lovely Northland College campus in Ashland, on Lake Superior, Journey received an award and I gave a keynote address and presented a breakout session. Northland generously bestowed this wonderful award on Journey, and I was so very honored to be able to receive it in person and be part of this fabulous conference.
As part of the experience, Alex and I were fortunate enough to be able to join a small group on a “wolf howl.” At 8 pm, we ventured out into the woods with a professional wolf biologist (or, as we chose to call him, wolf tracker!) and howled at the moon in hopes of hearing a wolf pack howl back at us. We didn’t hear any, and we almost froze our toes off, as it was 12 degrees out, but it was a never-to-be-forgotten experience nonetheless. (And I know they were out there!)
I had a great time at this event in Seattle last weekend. My book was a finalist and I got a second shiny gold sticker to put on it! How thrilling! There were many wonderful local authors to chat with, including Liz Wong, author of Quackers, whom I met at the Bank Street awards last fall, and Mark Holtzen, author of A Ticket to the Pennant. Christy Cox, my Sasquatch editor, also attended, and we got to talk in person about our upcoming project, What Is It Like to Live on an Island?
I’m still pinching myself! I just signed a contract with Calkins Creek, an American history imprint of Boyds Mill Press, for my nonfiction picture book The Pig War: Or How a Porcine Tragedy Taught Two Great Nations to Share (tentative title). My editor will be the wonderful Carolyn Yoder. This book will tell the story of how the United States and Britain almost went to war over a minor scuffle about a pig, and instead managed to solve the dispute peacefully. I think that the message of non-violence, negotiation, and tolerance will resonate in today’s political and social climate. I’m looking forward to heading up to the San Juan Islands next week to do some research. It doesn’t hurt that the islands look like this:
My friends know that I love me some quaintness! Let the island adventure begin!
It’s been so much fun to be back in New York! I’m here for the Bank Street College Cook Prize and Irma Black Award ceremony. The event took place this morning at their campus on 112th Street, and it was a blast! All the speeches were heartwarming, the keynote by Steven Savage was hilarious, and it was wonderful to see my old friends from the city who came out to support me. Here are a few photos and links.
Some of my critique partners came out to see me! Katey Howes, Ariel Bernstein, and Kristin Mahoney. Thanks, ladies!
Inside the brochure
And to get meta: Alex, Everett. and Cate watched the ceremony live from home, on Facebook. Alex sent me this picture of myself speaking.