We’re gearing up for ALA in Vegas! Stop by Booth 1942! Giveaways & more!

We’re heading to the American Library Association’s Annual Conference & Exhibition in Las Vegas this weekend. Stop by our booth (#1942) to help us celebrate our first year of children’s picture books!

Celebrating Our First Year in Picture Books!

Oh, and did we mention that we have fun giveaways? Pick up a free poster and “magic seed” packet from our book Celia by Christelle Vallat and Stéphanie Augusseau. (The “magic seeds” are made out of colorful paper that you can actually plant and sprout into beautiful flowers. How cool!)

Celia Poster and Seed Packet Giveaway!

Celia Poster and Seed Packet Giveaway!

And get a sneak peek at Rebecca Dudley’s follow-up to Hank Finds an Egg — her new book is called Hank Has a Dream! Free ARCs available while supplies last!

Hank Has a Dream

See you in Vegas! Peter Pauper Press, Booth Number 1942, Las Vegas Convention Center, 3150 Paradise Rd., Las Vegas, NV 89109

Dallas, and no JR to shoot.

I had a wonderful time with our TOLA territory reps, RoadRunners LLC., in their showroom during the Dallas show last week. It was a blistering 99 degrees there, but it's a lot less humid than NY is! 

The showroom was buzzing with excitement over the Dig For Diamonds special that they do. Buyers were lined up outside on the red carpet on Thursday & Friday evenings before they could take their turn in the sandbox digging for over $5,000 in gems. Two lucky winners got to take home 1 carat diamond earrings. And almost everyone left with some kind of gemstones. 

I managed to squeeze in a 5 minute peek at the "Grassy Knoll" on Saturday night after the show while out looking for a BBQ place (it was closed on the weekend). Always curious about the JFK shooting near Dealey Plaza, it was a must as it was only a few blocks from The Magnolia Hotel, where I was staying. There were quite a few tourists out there braving the heat that night, too. What I hadn't known was that Kennedy was on his way to speak at a luncheon in the Trade Mart (where the show takes place) when he was killed. Here are a couple of shots of the JFK Memorial in Dealey Plaza, and the notorious Grassy Knoll. 

Thank you to all of our wonderful reps! A pleasure to meet everyone face to face. Hugs to Tosha, Les, Wanda, Debbie, Ann, Judy, Linda, Leeann, Lacey and Laura. 

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Book Expo America!

Last week, the greater book industry erected a sprawling microcosm of itself inside the Javits Center, flung open the doors, and sank into a welter of bibliophilic chaos.

Well, okay, there are some other salient details. But that's the gist.

Book Expo America takes place once a year in Manhattan's massive convention center. Publishers and other book-related companies from all over the globe set up booths and display their titles, showcasing highlights from their upcoming lists. Very important people meet with other very important people to do very important things. Distinguished writers, artists, and publishing professionals take to stages throughout the building and hold forth on topics from the craft of writing to the direction of the book sector's various digital facets. Cookbook authors stage demonstrations. Creators sign advance copies of their books for lines of eager readers stretching across the show floor. Savvy publishers give out tote bags emblazoned with their logos, knowing that attendees need something to carry all those books in. Occasionally, famous animals who have starred in books make appearances. (I hear Grumpy Cat was there to promote his new book, and I missed him. Woe unto me.)I'd liken the experience to nothing so much as stepping physically into the internet. Information swirls around you in staggering quantity and breadth. The show floor represents a pretty delightful sampling of human experience, schools of thought, and areas of expertise and interest. In the space of a few minutes' walk, you'll see Lego sculptures, handsomely-bound shoebox-sized reference tomes, memoirists elaborating on their stories before rapt audiences, volumes of meticulous scholarly research, origami artists teaching attendees how to fold outlandish creatures, giant nature photography, artisanal cupcakes, and people laughing together over children's books about unicorns. Librarians abound; I had the good fortune to chat with several over the course of my day at the conference, and affirm my longstanding assertion that librarians are some of the coolest people in the world.

For the first two days of the conference, admission is open only to members of the publishing industry. On the third day, however, BEA welcomes members of the public, and often schedules some of its most exciting events for their arrival. This year's conference is over, but I encourage anyone who loves books and can make it to NYC to consider attending next year. And if you do plan to be there, drop me a line in the comments! I'm always happy to say hi.

Happy reading!

Image Credits:1st image – Shutterstock.com/Elena Schweitzer; 2nd image – Shutterstock.com/sahua d; 3rd image – Shutterstock.com/Vladimir Melnikov

Things To Do In Birmingham When You’re Dead (Tired)…

Having a jolly good time in the UK right now. The Spring Fair is going well and we’re meeting all sorts of lovely people with posh accents. I love it.

As for the title of this blog, in order to get to the happy place I’m in today we had to power through some grueling stuff. Packing up the NY show, jumping on a flight from JFK to Heathrow (or Newark to Birmingham) and then up to Birmingham in one day. Not much sleep on that flight as it arrived in the UK when it was about 12:30 at night for us. Onwards and upwards! After a short Virgin Trains ride up to the Midlands and immediately set up our booth here. Yes, we set the walls as well as the product on little to no sleep. That’s my excuse for the unique look. 🙂

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After setting up we headed out into Birmingham’s Bullring Mall (ok, it was the next day, we did manage to get a few hours sleep the second 24 hrs we were up) and promptly tried some Fentiman’s soda. Can’t say we’d repeat the process, but the Dandelion and Burdock was… interesting. The Bullring continues to amaze me with crowds as big as any in the US – on Black Friday! Only, it was just a Sunday here. Wow. Hope that proves the economy is recovering all over the world.

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The first day of the show, fantasy artist Josephine Wall stopped by. We managed to get some photos and she was nice enough to autograph a few copies of the journals we have with her artwork on the cover – including the new Crystal of Enchantment Journal. Sweet!

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That night, our colleagues from White Pebble International (who function as Peter Pauper Press, UK) invited us out for a proper pub dinner. We went to The Boot Inn in Warwickshire. Everybody had a blast (or a ball) with some lovely local pints of Pure UBU Amber Ale, followed by fish and chips, and various other scrumptious morstles. Thank you to Adam, Susan, Claire, and Craig. Many a laugh was had that night and recorded for posterity on John’s 20 pound note.

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On Monday night we ventured forth into Birmingham proper, with a trek to Lasan for some exquisite gourmet Indian food. YUM! They served us some gratis amuse bouche of some sort of salmon cake, and entertained us with elegant wipes (ok, we all thought they were mints before the waiter poured hot water on them and they expanded into wetnaps.) I highly recommend this place.

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The inner history geek in me had to rejoice that while I was here it was revealed the that skeletal remains found at Greyfriar’s church were indeed Richard III. Wow. Amazing what they can prove with DNA these days.

Cheerio!