Diamonds and Frogs

Last weekend, my family hit the road for a trip south, first to Fishkill, NY for the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators regional conference. I’d been asked to attend to receive SCBWI’s Crystal Kite Award for SUGAR AND ICE, but the day before we left, I got an email from the coordinator telling me the actual award hadn’t arrived yet. Would I still be able to come and…well…pretend to accept it?  Sure! After all, when you’re in a room full of children’s writers & illustrators, there’s no shortage of imagination.

I gave a short talk and asked the audience to ooh and ahh a bit over the invisible award for my invisible book (I forgot to bring a copy). And Nancy Castaldo presented me with a temporary substitute – a tiny Herkimer diamond, which made us all smile. The real Crystal Kite Award, I’m told, is lovely and will be sent shortly, so I’ll be sure to share a photo when it arrives.

After the conference, my family and I headed to New York for the rest of the weekend for a musical, some good food, and a little museum time.

I think my character Marty McGuire would LOVE this exhibit at the Museum of Natural History…

It features frogs from all over the world. Here are a couple of my favorites.

This African bullfrog amazed me. He (or she? hard to tell…) was the size of a small cantaloupe.

I’d like to see Marty McGuire sneak this one into school in her jacket…

And by the way…with all this frog-talk, it seems like a good time to say a big thank you to all of you who have shared MARTY MCGUIRE with your classes and kids and libraries. I’ve been blown away by the response and the letters I’m getting from kids and parents. One question that’s come up a lot is “When will there be another book in the series?”  And I’m happy to report that MARTY MCGUIRE DIGS WORMS is done, and Brian Floca is working on illustrations to get ready for a February 2012 release.  After that…well…stay tuned!