Books of Wonder, the the THE bestest best independent children's book store here in NYC. They've had a couple locations over the years, but no matter where they are, it's always been a pretty magical experience wandering through the aisles.
I was invited by the inimitable Mr. Timothy Bush who actually had an invite to the event (unlike me) and asked if I wanted to go.
On the way over Tim joked that I'd probably know more people than he did. And while it wasn't really true, I did happen to know quite a few, including my editor from Harpercollins, Brenda Bowen, Kids Next Door background artist and children's book illustrator Gideon Kendall, the always warm, always sweet, always hysterical Ted and Besty Lewin, and other assorted folk.
Then there are the people you kinda know through other friends third uncle's friend's sister's gynecologist's neighbor's mother's dead grandfather's cousin they saved in the war.
Children's book sooper star Dan Yaccarino wasn't one of them, but I kinda knew him through Mr. Willems and other random animation pals.
We talked for a while and a couple days later set up some lunchable plans to talk more. Aside from his books he's done some pretty awesome stuff (the Oswald animated series, doing initial designs for the Backyardigans, etc) and has even more awesome stuff coming down the pike. And what do I always do when I meet someone who draws cool stuff?
Wrestle them to the ground until they agree to drawl me a pitcher:
Me love pretty pitchers.