Wednesday, June 30, 2010

ALA, part 2.75

After the luncheon, there was just enough time for me to run to Listening Library's ( Where the Mountain Meets the Moon audiobook makers!) Lend your Voice mobile:This was a really neat event! Listening Library was making a "crowd-sourced" audio book of The Wizard of Oz-- anyone interested in recording a section could come by to participate!

Now, I have a little bit of a Wizard of Oz fixation. For any of you who have read The Year of the Dog, you'll know that the main character in the book wants to be Dorothy in the school play but has that dream destroyed when a friend says that Dorothy is not Chinese. Well, that really happened to me! So when I received the e-mail about the audiobook, I jumped at the chance to maybe make my Dorothy dream finally come true!

All I needed was for the section I received to have Dorothy saying something....anything...

And it did!

My line?
"But I don't want to live here," cried Dorothy. "I want to go to Kansas, and live with Aunt Em and Uncle Henry."

Squee! My fifth grade dream fulfilled!

ALA, part 2

I had time getting to sleep the night before the Newbery banquet. I was so excited! I felt like the next day was going to be Christmas and instead of stockings hanging on the mantelpiece, I had all my pretty dresses hanging in the closet. So, when the day came, I was awake really early! So early, that I indulged in ROOM SERVICE!
This is where I have to spout about how great my publisher Little, Brown & Co. is. If you ever publish a Newbery Honor book, publish it with them. One of the many neat things they did (as well as pay for my room service, thanks!) was put me & Squatchie up at snazzy hotel, complete with robes:
I SOOO wanted to steal this robe, but I was a good girl and left it behind.

Now when I was deciding between the two dresses, many people suggested that I wear the one dress for the daytime events and the other dress for the Banquet. That was a good idea, except I had already settled on my daytime event dress.

The dress I had decided on was not only jade green, like my bracelet (in fact, it was the reason why I decided the 1st green dress wouldn't do and decided to keep looking--I didn't want to wear green for both the day & banquet) but it belonged to my grandmother.

I found it while rummaging through my mom's closets and loved it so much that I had it tailored to fit. And I also found an old pin of hers that went beautifully.
this isn't the best photo of the dress, I'll post better ones as I go on...

Thus attired, I made my way to the Convention Center, where I had great fun being a terrible pet,

running into amazing author and friend, Barbara O'Connor,
grabbing some bubble gum,
and posing with an origami yoda!
As I made my way to the Little, Brown booth, I noticed a long line of people waiting for a signing.... and was uber-suprised that it was for ME!

flanked by my agent, Rebecca, who is not only awesome but good at color coordinating with me

Neat! What fun! A good way to begin the day!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

ALA, part one

So, it was time to go! My trip to ALA and the Newbery Banquet began with a game of iphone pacman on the airplane:

It was about the time that I lost my 5th game that I realized I did forget something! I had remembered the jade bracelet this time, but I had forgotten my blue rose! It was a specially made rose to match my dress and to match the other blue rose girls whom I had gotten banquet tickets for. It was laying on the table at home:
I tried really hard not to be a whiner about it but I kind of had had my heart set on taking a blue rose photo at the banquet just like we had at my wedding.

But as soon as we got in, I met Alvina to go to the Tea for Katherine Patterson (our new Ambassador Children's Literature), who gave a lovely speech even though I didn't hear any of it because I was way in the back...but I knew it was lovely because lots of people who DID hear it cried and clapped.

People like, Susan Kusel, the well-organized as well as kind librarian who got me the extra Banquet tickets:

and one of my favorite bloggers Jama Rattigan (check out her post on the tea to see the good eats)
There were many more, but I forgot to take photos. I think was distracted because an extremely lucky occurrence had just happened. as Alvina and I walked to the tea (very hot!), we passed many stores. As I glanced at one of them, I saw they had red rose hairclips in the window.

"Do you think they have a blue one?" I asked Alvina.
She shrugged, and I thought it was unlikely, but we went in anyway. And they DID! Not as nice as the custom made one, of course, but it was a blue rose! What were the chances? Ta-hah!
I'm making the "I forgot!" Ting face from Ling & Ting

Fate or luck? Who knows? But I am never going to bet against the jade bracelet!

After the tea, I had a quick drink (big glass of water, which I really needed after walking in the DC heat! really not recommended.) with Harold Underdown. If you remember he was my first editor, the one who acquired The Ugly Vegetables, my first book and my first break into the children's book world, and is miraculously still in print! Thank you very much, Harold!!

After that, I met up with good friends for dinner (somehow I don't have a photo of everyone):

at a restaurant called Busboys and Poets, chosen with hopes of grand inspiration for our poet friends Janet Wong & Elaine Magliaro:

which I'm not sure was accomplished. However, we did plan an epic called, "The Velveeta Rabbit, or How Fake Cheese becomes Real."

book talk tuesday

THE DREAM STEALER by Sid Fleischman

IndieBound Description:
There is a bandit who comes in the night. He does not want pretty silver earrings or dangly gold necklaces, not diamonds or rubies.
What does he want?
Listen, I will tell you.
He wants dreams.
He is supposed to take only nightmares—the dreams of monsters and phantoms—but he's grown scared. He's been taking the good dreams instead.
But one night he steals from the wrong girl.
Susana is clever. She is wily. She is brave. And she wants her dream back.

My Thoughts:
It was with great sadness that I read of Sid Fleischman's death last March. I had the good fortune to meet him many years ago, early in my career and in that brief encounter he epitomized to me what a "nice gentleman" was. Funny, sincere and warm--just like this book, one of his last gifts of literature to the world. A lovely little jewel of a book.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

did I forget anything?

All packed to go to the big Newbery Banquet(hope my dress doesn't get too wrinkled.)! This time I packed the jade bracelet, but I think it is already bringing me luck because to see me off was ANOTHER STARRED REVIEW for Ling & Ting!!!

This one is from the School Library Journal:

Lin brings her talents to these charming stories about Chinese-American twins who like to stick together but are not as alike as everyone thinks. The six short chapters are the perfect length for beginning readers. In the first story, the girls get haircuts. Ting “moves her legs and her fingers. Ting can never sit still.” When her snipped hair falls on her nose, she sneezes and the barber cuts a little too much off her bangs. The simple illustrations follow this mishap throughout the book, making the sisters easily identifiable. In the other vignettes, Ling and Ting make very different dumplings, Ling cannot eat with chopsticks no matter how hard Ting tries to teach her, and they visit the library. Each story ends with an amusing punch line that will make readers laugh. The last chapter ties all of the tales together, showing the fun and friendship that the girls share. This relationship, combined with the simple sentence structure, repetitive text, and straightforward illustrations that reinforce new vocabulary words, will put this easy reader in the same category as Arnold Lobel’s “Frog and Toad” books (HarperCollins).

WOW! That means Ling & Ting have received four starred reviews! That is the most stars I have gotten for ANY book!!!

A good omen for the weekend, don't you think?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Thank you for coming!

The Ling heads were made:

the Ting heads were made:
The boxes had their cupcakes:
And the bags were filled with their magnets and chopsticks:
And only needed decorating:
But I had a hard time getting the help to part with the paper flowers:

However, everything was finished and brought to the bookstore for the LING AND TING BOOK PARTY!!!

Where, after I spoke a little (tried to keep it short):

It was time for the cupcakes!

It was kind of a long line (thanks for your patience!):
Because I had to admire everyone's matching Twin outfits!!

This family deserves a prize for the cupcake theme coordination--they even have a matching Lissy doll:

Though, these girls looked pretty delicious in their dim sum shirts:
And these ladies are lovely in their spring colors, coordinated with Mom and brother:

While these girls even had matching shoes:

But, I admit, I'm a bit partial to those matching with ME!

I hope everyone had a good time at the Ling & Ting Book Party! Thanks so much for coming!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

book talk tuesday


IndieBound Description:

Plain Jane has a heart of gold -- but her face is as homely as her nose is long. Princess Miserella, on the other hand, is a beautiful princess with a heart of stone. In this droll twist on the classic fairytale, the kiss-bestowing prince learns that beauty is indeed only skin deep.

My Thoughts:
This is an "early reader," which from writing Ling and Ting (though this is maybe a smidge older) I learned is no easy thing to do well. So, this book is quite impressive to me; the story seems effortless, which is the mark of a truly great author. Of course, Jane Yolen is perhaps the modern Queen of Children's Literature with bazillions of acclaimed titles from poetry to graphic novels, but this is my favorite!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

random wonders

So...Ling and Ting has received 3 starred reviews!!! It's true--Kirkus, Booklist and the Horn Book (my first star ever from them) have given Ling & Ting the elusive star! I am (happily) amazed. Truthfully, I'm telling you this not to brag but because I want you to think that the book is SOOOOOO good that you HAVE to come to the book party on Sat. C'mon, it's 3 stars of goodness!

Speaking of goodness, you can see the "original twins," the ones who first inspired Ling and Ting at this blog post HERE.

And, along the same lines of amazing strange things, I am only 7 (yes, 7) fans away from reaching 1000 on my facebook fan page. When I first started the page, I said that if I ever reached 1000 I'd give everyone a cupcake. I didn't think it would happen so I wasn't too worried about it. But now I am going to have to seriously consider the possibility. Do you think I can wheedle my publisher into sending me on the 1,000 cupcake book tour? Hmm, say 40 cupcakes at each event...that would be like a 25 city tour! Eeks! And where would I bake them in each city? Okay, will have to start thinking of a plan B...

But, in the meantime, you CAN get a real home-baked cupcake from me if you come to my book party on Sat. (It's at 3 pm at Porter Square Books). I'm thinking chocolate with vanilla frosting this time. Anyway, there won't be 1000, but there will be one for you!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

and the winner is...

So I have decided my dress! Which one is it? Well, you'll just have to wait until I post about my Newbery Banquet Experience! It's happening REALLY soon, June 27th, so you really don't have to wait that long.

In the meantime, thank you all who commented on my dress choices. I chose randomly (meaning I closed my eyes and randomly scrolled down) and these are the winners of the Where the Mountain Meets the Moon audio book:

From my personal blog gracenotes- commenter #9 Kiy
From the blue rose girls blog--commenter #13 Sarah
From my FB Fanpage: commenter #11 Karen Gajewski

Thank you very much for playing! Please send your snail mail address to and we'll get your audio books out to you ASAP.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

book talk tuesday

Mitch and Amy by Beverly Cleary

IndieBound Description:
Mitch and Amy both think being twins is fun, but that doesn't stop them from squabbling. Amy is good at reading. Mitch is a math whiz. Amy likes to play pretend. Mitch would rather skateboard. They never want to watch the same television show. And they always try to get the better of each other.

Then the school bully starts picking on Mitch -- and on Amy, too. Now the twins have something rotten in common: Alan Hibbler. This twosome must set aside their squabbles and band together to defeat a bully!

My Thoughts:

This is such a wonderful book! This book was probable another book that influenced me to make Ling & Ting, my own book about twins! Even though I read this book in the 80's I think it is still very timely, dealing with bullies and siblings in a realistic way. I liked how at the end, both Mitch & Amy were able to see that Alan (the bully) had his own problems and the bullying ended when peers stopped being a silent audience (I read that this is the most effective way of stopping bullying, not the victim reacting but peers showing their negative judgement of the bully). While, I'm not crazy about the cover, the cover I had in the 80's was worse!

Monday, June 14, 2010

on my desk monday

My author copies of Ling and Ting have arrived! (You're coming to the party, right? It's THIS Saturday!)

Friday, June 11, 2010

fortune cookie friday

"Keeping the company of an emperor is like keeping the company of a tiger."
-Chinese Proverb