Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Chapter Books; a whole new world!
Last week, at Books of Wonder, I was on a panel with a bunch of cool folks who write chapter books. Until last week, I knew next to nothing about chapter books. That evening I discovered, much to my delight, it's quite a different beast! Like an older, more sophisticated, distant relative to children's books. Still, like picture books, chapter books tell stories for a young audience. I was completely captivated as my colleagues revealed tales about their characters and how they came to be. I sat with Jackie Longstead (of the Sister's 8 series), Bruce Hale (his latest, From Russia with Lunch) and Charise Mericle Harper (Just Grace books fame). The second coolest part of the evening for me, next to hearing all of their back-stories, was discovering that Charise Mericle Harper not only writes and illustrates books (like me!), lives in the NY area w/ her 2 kids (like me!), but is from Vancouver, B.C., (like me!), AND went to Prince of Wales high school (like me!! - only we missed each other by a year). What are the odds of that? I discovered I absolutely adore Charise's work. Her main character, Grace, has the super power of empathy! How cool is that? I love the fact that even though I was probably misplaced on the panel to begin with (ie/ Greetings from the 50 States is not exactly a chapter book!), it was totally worth the effort to make that random connection and to learn just a bit more about the world of chapter books! Rebecca Sherman (my agent), my daughter Ginger and I are featured above at the Cupcake Cafe in Books of Wonder.