Sunday, March 16, 2008

Media Luncheon, and a Sneak Peak

A few weeks ago, my company hosted a lovely Media Luncheon at the restaurant craft. We invited people from various media outlets, such as Publisher's Weekly, Cookie, Child Magazine, and many more. And then on the publishing side, we invited four picture book authors and illustrators with books coming out this Spring.

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!


Daniel Mahoney said...

Great post, Alvina! So interesting to see a sneak peek at Peter's work, as well as what looks like a fabulous time dining with authors and illustrators....but what tops it all is the mention of duck risotto!

Christine Tripp said...

Alvina, I LOVED seeing some of Peter's art for the new book! After hearing your's and Peter's interiew on JOMB, I emailed him to tell him how much I loved his Illustrations of "Chowder". He emailed back, what a nice guy. I can't think of a better name to suit that puggly, sweet/ugly face of his (the dog, the DOG!!! Peter himself? hot! Too young, sigh...:)
What I also love is that you seem to appreciate the illustration process as much as the writing.
I wish the images were larger, I'll have to wait till the book is out to see the little red head cutie up close.

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of the authors/illustrators switching tables between courses. A great way to give everyone an opportunity to chat with them.

(Hi Daniel!)

Daniel Mahoney said...

It's very brave of the author/illustrators to switch tables between courses. Did they carry their forks with them from table to table?

(Hi Kris!)

alvinaling said...

They brought their napkins and utensils with them if they remembered, but sometimes the wait staff would bring them a new set.

(Hi everyone!)

Meghan McCarthy said...

Oh boy, "beautiful new studio in Dumbo"... I'm not at all jealous of that.

The art looks great!

Christine Tripp said...

I think he mentioned the new studio and that he had felt so isolated working alone in his apt. I had to reply, Peter, you have obviously not spent 20 some odd years with 4 children all around and on top of you, working in isolation then becomes a GOOD thing!:)
Still, I imagine you would get more work done, having an art space away from home.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if L,B (or other companies that do these) keeps track of the coverage the books at these events subsequently get from attendees. I know it's not a direct cause & effect link, but it would be interesting to see.

The Curious Garden art looks fantastic!

Rita said...

Hee. I am totally looking forward to The Curious Garden!