This past weekend I had a book signing at my local Barnes & Noble (thank you Kelly for all you do for me!). I decided to do a little something different. Come on, I’ll show you.
I pulled up to the store with my family. As always, I was thrilled to see posters about my books in the window. Talk about dreams come true. You spend so much time reading and writing and wishing, seeing your name in a book store window and on the cover of a book never grows old.
To gear up for story time, I did a little practice run. This time last year, I didn’t need glasses to read. Those days are over! Funny how the angle of the picture makes the book look HUGE.
I asked everyone who came by my table to help build a dandelion. Kids had fun sticking the dandelion’s seedpods everywhere they could. I have to admit, they did a pretty good job.
After story time, we all sat down and started drawing and coloring. I have some pretty nice artwork to share. Thank you to the kids who took the time to show us what incredible artists they are!
Every writer dreams not only of getting their book published, but someday having that book reviewed in the NY Times (right next to being spotlighted by Oprah!). I almost fell off my chair when my publisher forwarded me the review for The Dandelion’s Tale in a recent issue of the Times.
It was short and sweet, but most important of all, a great review! Here’s what they said :
“The pale blue skies and grassy meadows of “The Dandelion’s Tale” beautifully convey springtime’s promise of renewal. One little dandelion, however, has lost all but 10 of her fuzzy white seed pods, and fears she will soon be forgotten. A kind sparrow listens to her happy memories and makes sure they are passed along to the next generation. Obvious analogies to the human life cycle make this lovely-to-look-at, old fashioned tale a little sad and a little sweet, like the best goodbyes.”
Don’t think my feet have touched the floor since I read this. Thank you to everyone who has read the book and passed along your kind words!
Here’s a link to the Sunday Book Review.
Over the weekend, I went to my mother’s house to make sure the grill was ready for our Mother’s Day BBQ. It hadn’t been used since last Father’s Day, so we went there with fingers crossed.
Upon walking into the yard, lo and behold, there were dandelions everywhere. Naturally, since the publication of my book, The Dandelion’s Tale, the sight of these yellow-topped weeds have been cause for celebration. The two pictured above sprouted up at the base of the last tree in the yard. I started to think of the things that happened around that tree when I was growing up. When my cat, Priscilla was a kitten, she somehow climbed up the tree and got stuck on a branch, meowing her head off. My heart lodged in my throat when she decided to take flight, somehow landing on her feet, unharmed.
People sitting under that tree have been pooped on by birds and had things dropped on them by squirrels. I even buried a few hamsters there. I’ve sat under the shade of that tree for countless family parties and outdoor dinners. I played with my Star Wars figures, pretending the foliage around the tree was a foreign planet.
There are tales to tell right where those dandelion’s are growing. I wonder if they can tap into those memories that have become one with the earth.
Thank you to the staff of Womrath’s Bookstore in Bronxville, NY for being the perfect hosts for this past weekend’s book signing. This was the big local signing that a lot of my peeps (aka friends and family) were looking forward to attending.
There was only one drawback. It was an absolutely beautiful, warm day – the first since fall began! The normally bustling town was much quieter than usual. We writers love rain! Rain drives people to bookstores.
My peeps came, bought lots o books, and made it a very special day. As the guys from Ghost Hunters say at the end of every episode, “On to the next!”
I wanted to share some pics from the event. Hope you can be in the future ones!
I have to admit, I’ve been blown away by the reception The Dandelion’s Tale has received. Reviewers and readers have been so positive. When you write a book and have a chance to share it with the world, there’s always that voice in the back of your head, worrying what the feedback will be. Writers always assume the worst. 🙂
Booklist just printed the following review and I thought I’d share it with everyone.
Dandelion’s glory days are coming to an end. Her bright yellow flower has evolved into just 10 seedpods, and she is concerned no one will remember she ever existed once the seedlings blow away. When Sparrow learns about her fears, the bird suggests writing down Dandelion’s memories. The two happily collaborate: Dandelion reminisces about squirrels and meadows, and Sparrow pecks the memory in the dirt. The morning after a storm, Sparrow discovers Dandelion didn’t survive and neither did her story. But all is not lost. He can tell her story and finds the perfect audience: new little dandelions that started as 10 seedlings. The charming illustrations are in blues, browns, and greens when the bird and plant are conversing, and tinged in golden light when memories are related. The ink, watercolor, colored pencil, crayon, and digital media pictures have an old-fashioned feel and showcase the moving story of keeping memory alive. Although sophisticated in concept, this feels right for the age group and would be beneficial in helping children cope with losing a loved one.
It’s been such a thrill to walk into bookstores and libraries and find copies everywhere. Random House/Schwartz & Wade have been amazing every step of the way. I’m busy getting story time and appearances lined up throughout the rest of the year, so hopefully I’ll be in your neck of the woods some day!
If anyone is interested in a school visit (in-person or remote), just contact me through the comments here and I’ll be happy to see if I can accomodate. It’s been a while since I was in school. It will be fun to see how things have changed. Do they still give detention? Ah, the glory days.