Judy Blume and Eric Carle for a special reading and panel discussion celebrating the NYPL's first ever list of 100 great children's books of the past 100 years, of course I said YES!
(And yes, my grandmother's A Wrinkle in Time is on that list . . .)
And . . . I was late. (Because of said traffic.) But what a treat! The woman is 75 years old and looks thirty years younger. Every fiber of her being is attentive and completely engaged. She talked about the joys of revising - yet another reason why I love this woman! (Not just for Are you there God, It's Me, Margaret, Deenie, Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great and the mind-blowing FOREVER.) She read a snippet from Double Fudge and every word was GOLD. She had us in the palm of her hands!
Leonard Marcus as the moderator was fabulous as usual. Eric Carle was adorable, and read his brand new book called Friends, but Judy was a childhood idol. Judy wrote for ME. She understood - she knew what it was like - she could read minds!
And I never got to meet her, to hold both of her hands and tell her what a difference she made in my life.
Until this morning. (She kept holding onto my hand as she high-fived the elementary school kids who were in the audience. So gracious!) I did not not ask for a photo or an autograph -
The hand-holding was more than enough!
Afterwards, my sister and I were treated to a private tour of the NYPL's acclaimed exhibition The ABC of it: Why Children's Books Matter which I urge you all to RUN to. It was also curated by Leonard, and he and the librarians and the conceptual artists did an amazing job. (Yes, A Wrinkle in Time is included, in the Banned Books section.) Look! There's the car from the Phantom Tollbooth! And the Wild Thing! And the Secret Garden! And, and, and . . . Just GO! You won't regret it. Tell them I sent you!
PS Whose hands would you like to hold?
Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.
"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.