Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Charlotte Award weekend in New York State!

This past weekend I made a whirlwind trip to Liverpool in New York State near Syracuse to receive the 2012 Charlotte Award for "The Can Man". Thanks to the New York State Reading Association for this great honor! 

The NYSRA started with 600 books published over two years then narrowed them down for the ballot so the kids could spend the next year reading and voting. 12,000 kids across the state picked their favorite books in four catagories. Laura Williams the author of "The Can Man" and I won in the intermediate level. Thank you to the NYSRA for flying me out and showing me such a good time. Thankfully I managed to just miss hurricane Sandy! I am glad to report Syracuse rode out the storm just fine.

Sadly because of the weather four other winners had to cancel their travel plans, but luckily most made acceptance videos that were played during the ceremony and three even skyped in which was really great. I was shown a lot of love for being the only winner who was able to make it for the weekend. Below are some pictures from the two days.

Here is the view from my room at the Holiday Inn. Didn't make it out much but enjoyed the fall color!

On Sunday we had a community day event where kids and parents could come and celebrate books.

Here is my setup for that event. We had a great turnout and I got to meet lots of kids familiar with "The Can Man". They also got to color their own skateboard designs.

The VanRiper's are a really nice local family who had a booth next to mine. They write and illustrate a on going series of books set locally called "The Aidirondack Kids". They are currently working on their 13th. Father and son write the stories and mom does the interior drawings. Really fun books and a great success story.

Here we are Sunday night at a banquet dinner singing the song "Reach Out and Touch Somebodies Hand" at the close of a great speech by Patricia Edwards. These teachers know how to party!

 All of the 2012 Charlotte winning books together.

On Monday the Charlotte awards were given during the luncheon. Here are all six of them together.

 And here is mine!

 Everyone still arriving.

 Judy is presenting my award.

 Me whipping up the crowd in my gunslinger pose (I guess).

 Enjoying the moment after my short speech.

Writer Adam Gidwitz a winner for his book "A Tale Dark and Grimm" brought the house down with his thank you video and skype visit from NYC, all while riding out hurricane Sandy!

My book signing buddies. Both of these authors, Suzanne Bloom and Alan Katz have books I have used in my illustration classes over the years. So cool to meet them in person!

Sadly the whole conference may have been upstaged by the child beauty pageant just around the corner in the hotel. I was tempted to sit in that chair. NYSRA and the Charlotte Award Committee made me feel like a king for the day!