I got lost on the way to the school in the morning. One would think that East and West would be pretty self-explanatory since the main highway runs directly North-South, but apparently I need these things translated into simple Lefts and Rights. Still trying to figure out if there is any way I can blame this on my ailing health.
During one of my sessions, when I came to the line “A pocket for a farmer is a dell, hi-ho…”, I asked the kids if they recognized that, from a song. “Yeah,” answered one world-weary little guy, “but it’s also a place to work.” Oh. Right. Dell.
When I was signing books, one particularly earnest little girl asked if they were going to have to give the books back. I pointed out her name in the inscription and said that it was hers, to keep. She leapt. Like a frog. Even hung there at the top of her jump for a moment, suspended with delight.
In the midst of one rather lively question-and-answer session, a student asked about the silver sticker on the front of my book. I explained that the book had been nominated for an award, and that the label recognizes that. A discussion ensued about “all those other books that win ‘cott awards” and I laughed and said something about how happy those labels make their authors.
“So is that why you do it?” asked a boy in the back. “Is that why you write books, to get more and more labels? To win more and more awards?”
“No,” I answered. “I write books for you. I write books because I loved reading when I was a kid, and I loved being read to, and I’m inspired to be a part of that for you! Awards are a nice bonus, but they’re not why I write."
Pause. Deep breath. Final answer.
“Yeah, that’s what I wanted to get outta you,” he said, satisfied.
I was satisfied, too. I love a kid who knows what he wants.