Getting more than what you expected is a wonderful thing. When that ‘more’ lingers for weeks, that’s a bonus.
I went to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art a few weeks ago to hear Newbery Award winning author Kate DiCamillo speak. For children’s book lovers and art lovers, this museum is a treasure. It’s the real deal.
The Kate DiCamillo event sold out quickly. I knew it would. I bought my ticket the first day. There are few authors who have multiple award winning books and are just as humble as apple pie. If you have read Because of Winn-Dixie in one sitting because you couldn’t put it down, or cried at reading The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, or laughed at the Mercy Watson series, you know. I was lucky to be there and hear her speak.
For all you writers out there, Kate is just like you. She had 473 rejection letters in 5 1/2 years. She almost gave up at rejection letter 471. But she didn’t, and her first book won the Newbery. She writes early in the morning before she has time to doubt herself or think about how she can’t do it.
Kate remembers Mrs. Boyette, the teacher who read aloud to her class.
When she joined a children’s book writing group, she was told, “You have no business writing children’s books if you haven’t read Charlotte’s Web.”
Kate worked at a library, shelving books, and when she had free time she discovered and read a book, Bridge to Terabithia. That was ‘the book’ for her.
She’s funny, down to earth, and a great storyteller. Best of all, when it was question and answer time, she took the questions from children.
Kate DiCamillo’s latest book, Beverly, Right Here, is the final in a trilogy of three friends. I devoured the first two books, and I know this one will be just as good.
I was one of the first in line to get my copy signed… and to tell her that I’m a Mrs. Boyette. Kate smiled and thanked me for reading aloud.
The story of my day at the Eric Carle Museum gets better!
There are always three exhibits of picture book art at the museum, one of which is the art of Eric Carle. His current exhibit is “Under the Sea.” It is always fabulous to see the real art of illustrations in the books I read to children, especially Eric Carle. This exhibit is one of the best.
The art is outstanding, especially seeing it up close. Then, the next display was from the book, A House For Hermit Crab. That is a favorite book in my classroom, year after year. You can imagine what a thrill it was to see this beloved book in it’s raw beginnings and final illustrations.
Then, I saw THE illustration, the one my preschoolers loved the most when they discovered Eric Carle’s end papers. It was the end paper in A House For Hermit Crab.
I was beside myself. My preschoolers had finger painted this work of art, over and over again. This was the art that opened their eyes and inspired them. They loved this art. We had to open every Eric Carle book and look at the end papers. It was exciting!
To this day, every time I read a book in the classroom, children want to see the end papers. Thank you, Eric Carle.