Still Here, Under All This Snow

Hi everyone!

My goodness, universe, when I said “winter is coming,” I didn’t mean “BRING ON THE SNOW!”  I’ve FINISHED book seven (at last! yippee!), so I don’t need to experience the Ice Kingdom anymore.  All set, thank you!  You can take your snorkton of blizzards back now!

It’s really quite amazing outside my house at the moment.  Historic snow piled up to the windows!  Our garden fence has vanished under the mountains!  And driving through the streets is like navigating through six-foot-tall snow canyons.  From inside my nice cozy home office, it’s rather beautiful, but I am very sorry for all the commuters and shovellers out there.

All right, I have all kinds of things to blog about, so let’s see how many I can remember!

For one, I am coming to New York City for a super-fun-sounding, totally free convention on March 21, 2015, called WORLDS COLLIDE, where you can meet me and oodles of marvelous Scholastic authors!  Register here!  I hope lots of you can join us!  I have no idea what we’ll be doing, but I’m VERY EXCITED!  🙂

Nextly: I did an interview for a blog called the Ink Splat, run by the Society of Young Inklings — all about imagining dragons and naming characters and writing advice and stuff like that.  Check it out if you’re curious — and if you’re a young writer, it looks like an awesome organization, with contests and summer camps for writers and things like that!

Also, Who Was Harry Houdini? is one of the featured books on PJ Our Way this month, which is very awesome, and there’s a great video review of the book (complete with magic tricks!) on the front page of the site right now.

And I have been terribly remiss in saying hello to any new international readers, as Wings of Fire is now out in France and Germany, too!  Bonjour and guten tag, new friends!  Here are some AMAZING photos of the book promotions in bookstores in France:

SO INCREDIBLE — a million thank yous, Gallimard Jeunesse, for being so so wonderful!

And here are the delightful German covers!:

Aren’t they wild and marvelous and eye-catching?  Loewe is also the supportive and lovely publisher of The Menagerie in Germany.  Big enormous thank-yous to them, too!

OK, enough about me!  Let’s talk about the ALA awards — the Newbery/Caldecott/Coretta Scott King/Printz/etc. awards for 2015 have been announced, and they’re so exciting!  (It’s like the Oscars, but infinitely more awesome, if you ask me.)

The Caldecott winner is an insanely gorgeous book called The Adventures of Beekle: An Unimaginary Friend, by Dan Santat:

I didn’t realize this was only published last year, so every time I’ve read it in the last few months I’ve thought to myself, “How could this not have won a Caldecott?”  And then it DID and it completely deserves it!  Hooray!  SO GORGEOUS, you guys!  (Also funny and adorable!)

I haven’t read the Newbery winner yet (The Crossover, by Kwame Alexander), but I am so excited to, and I’m so thrilled for Brown Girl Dreaming (by Jacqueline Woodson) getting a Newbery Honor (and the Coretta Scott King Award).  I’m thrilled for all of them!  Congratulations to the winners, and I can’t wait to read all the ones I haven’t yet!

It’s also a wonderful, thrilling set of winners in the context of #WeNeedDiverseBooks and all the work they’ve been doing and those conversations that have been happening this past year, so YAY FOR ALL THE THINGS!

Finally, my bigger bear is turning five years old this week, which is BANANAS.  How did that even HAPPEN?  He’s so BIG and smart and amazing and fascinating to talk to and I could happily listen to him and think about his brain all day.

Mommy: Bear, why don’t you have your pyjamas on yet?
Bear:  Stop moving!  I am STUDYING YOU.
Mommy:  Oh . . . OK.
Bear:  AHA!  You are missing an eyeball!
Mommy:  I am?
Bear:  Don’t worry, I can fix it.  I have lots of eyeballs.

More soon!  (I hope!)

What We’re Reading:
Me: I just finished Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu (SO. AWESOME.) and This One Summer by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, and now I’m on to Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes and Almost Famous Women by Megan Mayhew Berman (with a teetering pile of library books calling to me!)

With my bigger bear: the very funny Jedi Academy books by Jeffrey Brown and two terrific series by Dori Hillestad ButlerThe Haunted Library and The Buddy Files, which we both love

With my littler bear: a SUPER-adorable picture book called Julia’s House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke (author/illustrator of Zita the Spacegirl!); One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo and David Small (a recurring favorite around here); and Mister Bud Wears the Cone, by Carter Goodrich