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Word by Word

That Toddlin' Town

Judy reflects.
I'm just home from my whirlwind adventure in Chicago! What a quick trip. I flew in on Sunday and back home on Tuesday. The weather smiled upon me and I had a brisk, blue, spring day in which to swoop about town. I made the most of it, rising early to walk through Grant Park to the shore of Lake Michigan, passing beds of yellow and red tulips nodding in the breeze. They don't call it the Windy City for nothing! My presentation at the International Reading Association National conference, with professor Deborah Wooten (author of "Children's Literature in the Reading Program: An Invitation to Read") went very well. I'd purchased a netbook computer to run my Powerpoint slide show, but didn't need it after all. Jeff Ebbeler, the illustrator of Cinco de Mouse-O! and One is a Feast for Mouse was there, so we invited him onstage to answer questions.

Jeff and I had two hours between the presentation and our book-signing at the Holiday House booth, so we caught a cab and dashed over to the Chicago Art Institute where I steeped myself in the vivid colors of the Impressionists. What a superb collection of art. One of my favorite exhibits was the Joseph Cornell boxes, but everywhere I turned I saw a painting, sculpture, print, or photo of something I recognized. The whole thing gave me goose bumps.

That night I joined Eric Kimmel, David Adler, Laurie Lawlor, Hilary Wagner, notable educators, and the folks from Holiday House at a dinner at the Chicago Firehouse restaurant.

The next morning, on Jeff's advice, I headed to Millennium Park where I had the Cloud Gate (known to Chicagoans as "the bean") all to myself. Photo op!

Many thanks to the fine folks at Holiday House for inviting me. I had a wonderful time and hope to go back again someday!  Read More 
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Win a copy of Cinco de Mouse-O!

Enter to win an autographed copy of Cinco de Mouse-O! and read an interview with me at Linda Benson's website: http://www.lindabenson.blogspot.com/

I met Linda when we were both living in the same small Oregon town. I taught a class on writing for children at the local community college and she signed up. We hit it off right away and became good friends. Not long after that, however, we each moved away. A year or so later, she wrote with the good news that she had sold her first mid-grade novel, The Horse Jar.

Now we live hundreds of miles from each other,in different states, but keep in touch through Facebook and email. Thank goodness for the internet!

Linda has been kind enough to host an interview with me on her blog page, and include a drawing for a signed copy of my new picture book, Cinco de Mouse-O!.See her webpage for details.

I hope to return the favor and post an interview with her soon (as soon as I figure out how to do it. Stay tuned! Read More 
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