Thursday, November 29, 2007

Inhaling Politics & Prose

Here's a quick shout-out to Rees, who came to visit me at Politics and Prose yesterday afternoon. Rees is a discerning 10-year-old reader who peppered me with questions about ALL-STARS and EACH LITTLE BIRD THAT SINGS. He was a pleasure to talk with -- he even found an adult friend upstairs, a teacher friend, and brought him downstairs to meet me. Thanks, Rees, for a fabulous conversation, and thanks to Rees's mother, Heidi, who works at P&P. It was so good to see Jewell Stoddard and Dara La Porte again, along with Gussie Lewis, whom I had never met, and who arranged the stock signing yesterday afternoon.

After school, I took the Metro from Dunn Loring (the end of the orange line) to Metro Center, changed trains and took the red line to Van Ness, and walked the eight blocks north to Politics & Prose. Walking in to that store took me back to my years in D.C. -- nostalgic R Us today. I took a deep breath as stood there at the top of the stairs that lead to the children's department and some of my hero friends. I remember the days when Jewell owned The Cheshire Cat in D.C. -- what a fabulous independent children's bookstore was Cheshire Cat. Jewell and the children's department at Politics & Prose give me hope for children's books and readers.

Of course I didn't take a single photograph. We sat around the big table downstairs swapping stories and laughing and basking in one another's company. Who thinks to take a picture at a time like that? Oh, well.

Tami Lewis Brown and Louise Simone stopped by -- they are writers and librarians at Sheridan School nearby and also fellow Vermont College graduates -- it was so good to see them! Kathie Meizner and I went to supper later and Kathie gave me a ride back to my hotel in Fairfax -- thanks so much, Kathie, for the ride in the night, for good conversation, and a long catch-up.

I'm off to work now in fifth grade. I have lots to tell you about Canterbury Woods Elementary School, teachers and students. Think collaboration, coaching, mentoring, laughing, working hard... lots of good work in the world is going on right here. More from the other end of this good day.