I may be a bit late on the whole 2014 recap, but since the cover of Little Elliot, Big Family is being revealed this week, I’m taking some time to reflect. In the new book, Elliot learns that sometimes family can have a broader definition: it can include anyone you love. 2014 was much more than my picture book debut, it was the making of my kidlit family! Meanwhile, I want to share a sneak peek at some of the sketches from the second book!
By the time 2014 came along, I already felt like part of the Henry Holt BYR family (I signed with them in 2012). They’ve been amazing caretakers for Little Elliot. In true proud parent fashion, they have not stopped talking about their newborn baby–but instead of just pulling up a snapshot on their phone to show someone they were sitting next to on a park bench, they sent Elliot and me around the country to meet everyone on a book tour. I have no illusions, I realize that this doesn’t happen to every debut book, and I’m so grateful.
And even before Holt, there was my agent/”publishing Mom”, Brenda Bowen. She and the Greenburger clan have worked so hard to help spread the word about Elliot. Thanks to them, Little Elliot, Big City is being translated into nine languages , and will be available in over 20 countries!
Elliot and I have also been welcomed into the Merrymakers family! This February, you’ll be able to snuggle up with your very own Little Elliot while you’re reading about his adventures. He’s so very huggable!
In the past year, I’ve had many events at bookstores, both on tour and at home. It’s been such a pleasure meeting the people who are actually out there selling my book (And before they even met me! How cool is that?!). It’s also a delight to meet educators who actively put Little Elliot in kids’ hands. I’ve met some incredibly diligent librarians and teachers who have discussions about the books they’re reading, and who push their students to dig deeper, to look at and beyond the page. It’s always a thrill for someone to tell me “I love Elliot!”, but it’s doubled when one of these fine folks say so. Aside from publishers, these are the people who really know their kids books. I’ve enjoyed many a good recommendation from them for stories I haven’t read yet.
Since moving to Brooklyn in November, I have met so many talented authors and illustrators. Some of them have become my best friends (and yes, we do eat cupcakes together)! It’s really changed my life. I feel like part of a tight-knit community here in New York, and a part of something much grander, the kidlit community at large.
I’ve also “met” many kidlit bloggers this past year, many of whom live double-lives as teachers and librarians. I am always in awe of the amazing online resources that they’ve taken upon themselves to create. What a gift they’ve shared! I’ve been especially lucky to count some of these people as advocates. This Wednesday, you can get several different sneak peeks of Little Elliot, Big Family on these blogs:
2014 was truly one for the books. I can only imagine what 2015 will bring! Looking forward to sharing the journey with you.