Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Dear Author, Dear Year

It's a new year, windy and cold,
and here we are,
this complex, wonderful world of people.

My hope this year
is to keep searching for the glow in our daily dirt,
to coax out stories,
to make art that spreads welcoming arms across divides,
and to find ways to bloom courage and compassion into this world.

Tomorrow, our kids' Caldecott club meets.
We've nearly finished evaluating books,
and this week we get to write letters to authors and illustrators.
Several years ago, the wildebeests and I began a snail mail letter project,
attempting to write to as many children's book illustrators and authors possible.

I think we were aiming to write 100 letters.
Haven't quite gotten to one hundred letters.
Maybe thirty.
But I like to dream big. 
And regardless, we've received delightful responses!
Here is Pip with an original art card from Dana Sullivan,
author and illustrator of the Digger and Daisy books, and
Kay Kay's Alphabet Safari.
Thank you, Dana Sullivan!

Here's Winnie with a letter from Kim Baker, author of Pickle. 
Pickle happens to be one of Winnie's most favorite books ever,
so how outstanding to receive a handwritten letter and a shirt!
We have heart eyes all the way to the moon, Kim Baker.

We've heard from a bundle of lovely people - 

I'm warmed to the toes just to think of them all.

Children's book authors and illustrators have a magical position.
They endow kids with value, saying,
 "These books are made for YOU.
You are worthy of stories true and deep, 
of stories that question and challenge,
embrace and illuminate."

Artists, writers, friends with your own creative bents,
thank you for sharing your special magic with us.

Here's to 2017.
May we be heart-bold in it.
May we create colossally,
speak bravely,
forgive freely,
love fiercely
as if this is the only today we have.


When the Sea Turned to Silver  by Grace Lin
Switch by Ingrid Law
The Storyteller - Evan Turk
Hap-pea All Year  by Keith Baker
Maybe Something Beautiful -  F. Isabel Campoy, Theresa Howell, Rafael Lopez

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