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Books, readers and friends

I had a wonderful time at the Albany Children's Books Festival yesterday. I met readers of all ages, teachers, librarians, even a school principal. Dozens of children, and a few adults, folded paper boxes and cranes with the help of my trusted assistant, the patient and extraordinary-good-sport, Abby. (Thank you!) The organizers of the Festival did a terrific job keeping us fed and hydrated, and were helpful at every turn.

I participated in a panel on the challenges of chidren's book publishing with Amanda Marrone, Barbara Dee, Lyn Miller-Lachmann, and David Hyde Costello. We had an excellent turnout, with some great questions from the audience. It was good to hear all the different experiences we had getting ourselves published--with many lessons that overlapped.

One of the fun things about book festivals, beside all the gorgeous books that threaten to bankrupt me, are all the authors and artists I get to meet. I sat between the talented Jeannine Atkins and Karen Beil. They were a whole lot of fun to schmooze with during the occasional lulls. We had a mini Class of 2k7 reunion, with Eric Luper, Jo Knowles, Rose Kent, and Aimee Ferris. It's great to see us all doing so well in our careers! I finally met Amy Gordon whose The Gorillas of Gill Park has been a long-time family favorite. I ran into the indefatigable Katie Davis whom I hadn't seen in about ten years. And there were so many more!

A big thank you goes to the Festival's organizers and the students at the Albany Academies, who made the day run as smoothly as it did.

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