Apparently, for picture books, brown is the new blue.
My Day Three was actually Day Two of Book Expo. People had settled in, figured out where the hell they'd stashed the Disney/Hyperion booth, and patiently assembled into signing lines.
But first! The Children's Book Author Breakfast. With your host, Jason Segal. Unlike BJ Novak, I know who this guy is. He does stuff on Funny or Die sometimes. He was in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which was not about my friend Sarah Marshall, who is a printmaking professor at 'Bama. AND! I have read the sample chapters of his book, Nightmares!.
Eh. Not bad. It's co-written with Kirsten Miller (Kiki Strike), whom I think is marvelous. It's not going to win any awards, but it is a solid midlist middle grade safe-scary mystery. Goes along with Tales from Lovecraft Middle School and maybe Misadventures of Edgar and Allan. Get those on audio, BTW - Arte Johnson reads 'em.
Next there was... you know, before I move on, I would just like to observe that it takes a special kind of fame to decide to title your book merely "Nightmares" and reliably expect that it's going to come up anywhere near the top in an Amazon search. Which it just did when I searched it. So I guess... that's all right for Jason Segel then.
At the breakfast we also heard from that Solid Gold dancer of the Florida swamps, the hilarious Carl "It's the 'a' that's double, not the 's'" Hiaasen, whose new book Skink--No Surrender introduces a favorite foulmouthed oddball from his adult books to a younger audience. In his talk he called the readership of the Miami Herald "mutants." I love that guy.
Lovely Mem Fox came all the way from Australia to give us a little weep - when she described listening to her daughter sing a lullaby to her grandson that her own mother had sung to her, her voice caught, and not because the syntax of that sentence is so difficult. Unfortunately, her new book, Baby Bedtime,while a lovely rhyme, has rather uninspiring illustrations.
And then Jeff Kinney talked about reading Judy Blume, getting rejection letters, and opening an independent bookstore. What I took away from his talk is that 1) people still use Prezi and 2) I like Prezi so much more than PowerPoint.
My friend Paula and I stood in line to get books signed by Marla Frazee, Bob Shea and Lane Smith, Sophie Blackall, and Tony DiTerlizzi. I missed at least as many as I got - Lorna Landvik, A. S. King, Patrick McDonnell, Libba Bray, Scott Campbell. Scott's new book Hug Machine looks - say it with me - adorable. It's got kind of a Children Make Terrible Pets vibe.
They were out of copies of Adam Rex's new book Smek for President! by the time I got to the Disney booth. It's a sequel to True Meaning of Smekday, and coincidentally, just today I came across a post I wrote while reading that book for the first time seven years ago.
My kids and husband showed up midafternoon on Friday. I dumped a couple tote bags of books in the minivan and then snuck my twelve-year-old into the show with me for about an hour. He got a book signed by his pal Jon Scieszka, who demanded a movie of Frank Einstein. "But I'm only about halfway through it!" protested the boy. Milo also picked up a Pathfinder Tales novel and The Farting Dead, and then we hightailed it back uptown.
I've also written a recap of the SLJ Day of Dialog and Day One of BEA 2014 (which I misleadingly titled "BEA 2014 DAY TWO" - you're welcome). I've got one more day in the pipeline and Day Four? IT HAS CHARADES.