Thursday, September 23, 2010

At the Tollbooth

I am seeing the author and illustrator of my favorite book ever.  At one of my favorite bookstores ever.  With Carole.

Okay, breathe.  (Which is more than I did when I saw the writing on the wall.)

When Carole and I were in Politics and Prose for Sara Gruen's reading (more on that later), Carole sought a couple of Newbery Award-winning books for her collection in the children's book section.  (She found two of the rarer titles, which was a lovely addition to the evening.)

As Carole stood at the cash register with her purchases in hand, my eye caught a sign on the wall behind the bookseller:


Norton Juster
and Jules Feiffer
will be here
at....

At that point, I stopped breathing and grabbed Carole's shoulder.

"What?" Carole aske, alarmed.  (Normally I'm not speechless.)

I pointed at the wall.

The gasp Carole uttered was worthy of a Juster-Feiffer lover.

The Phantom Tollbooth is my "desert island" book, and I keep extra copies on hand for loans.  I also give the book as a gift to people of all ages.  From the very young (Bradley was about a week old) to the, er, adult, everyone who has received it has declared it the perfect gift.

I knew the duo were publishing another book this year, but I hadn't kept track of its progress.  The Odious Ogre is out and ready for me to read.  Once the author and illustrator's signatures are on the books, I will be a content woman.

Now, plenty of people will see them at the National Book Festival, and I wish those readers all the best in that endeavor.  However, I'll be seeing these two talented men at a wonderful bookstore with however many people will fit within its walls.

Carole and I will be there early.  I don't think we'll camp out at the door, but I can't rule out the possibility.  May the bookstore staff take pity on two very eager readers early on a Sunday.

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