I was excited for the event for two main reasons:
1) the opportunity to introduce one of the books I edited, Sergio Makes a Splash by Edel Rodriguez, coming out this May,
2) the opportunity to eat at craft, a restaurant I've been wanting to try for a long time.
The event started with drinks, hors d'oeuvres (the homemade potato chips with creme fresh and caviar was amazing), mingling, and viewing of the final art of the three books that were represented. Here I am with Edel and his art:
The art for Sergio is finished on the computer, but he first sketches by hand and then does, um, I think they're called lithographs (please, someone correct me), and scans them into the computer and does some fancy things with color, etc. Okay, that was a horrible description. But at any rate, the final result is really cool and retro-looking.Isn't Sergio adorable?!
Then we sat down to lunch at four tables, one author or illustrate per table. The author and illustrators would switch tables between courses to give everyone a chance to meet them.
The conversation was great. Along with Edel, we had Robie Harris and Michael Emberley, the author and illustrator of Mail Harry to the Moon:
and Mary Jane Begin, the author and illustrator of Willow Buds: The Tale of Toad and Badger:
And the food! The food was incredible. We ate family style, something I'm not used to in a non-Asian restaurant, but I was glad to be able to sample a little of everything. It's been a while, so I can't remember it all, but one dish in particular made an impression: the duck risotto was exquisite. I wanted to lick the pan afterwards, but didn't think that would impress our media guests. Unfortunately, chef Tom Colicchio didn't make an appearance (I'm a Top Chef fan), I guess that would have been too much to ask.
Here's a group shot with everyone, from left to right Mary Jane, Edel, Robie, and Michael:
All in all, the lunch was a great success, and it was nice to take a break from the office in the middle of the day.
And now on to a book that's coming out next Spring: The Curious Garden by Peter Brown. You probably know Peter from Flight of the Dodo, Chowder, and The Fabulous Bouncing Chowder. His next book is something completely different. I don't want to tell you too much about it, but will just give you a sneak peak at the art. I visited Peter's beautiful new studio in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn last week, and was excited to get my first glimpse of the final art that he's hard at work finishing right now. And I really mean right now, right, Peter? Here is Peter with some of the art:
And a sampling of two pieces (sorry about the bad photo lighting/quality):
Stay tuned for more about The Curious Garden in the future!