(My brand new Pelly doll sitting on my lap in the car on the way to the airport)
So I am officially back from California this week, even though I got back last week, between the jet lag and catching my mom's cold, last week didn't count. I am so happy to unveil pictures of my adorable Pelly doll, courtesy of the lovely Megan Engelmann from Stitch Cleveland (check out their site if you haven't: http://www.stitchcleveland.com/ )!!
I had the amazing opportunity while I was home in San Jose to visit my all time favorite children's book store, Hicklebee's Children's Book Store (www.hicklebees.com). Granted I am a little biast, seeing as Hicklebee's gave me my very first job. I worked there throughout high school and for a couple summers when I would come home from college. This bookstore is truly amazing and its booksellers even more so.
I was so lucky to be able to come home and have the opportunity to do a book event with them for Pelly. It was so surreal to actually be on the other end of an author/illustrator event this time. Usually I was the girl in the back who was totally obsessed with whatever author/illustrator was visiting that day. I would be so afraid to talk to them, seeing as I have a tendency to word vomit on people who I greatly admire.
I was so touched to see old friends, their parents, family, and everyday bookstore customers show up to my event. Of course I was completely nervous to get up and talk. I used to think that getting up and talking in front of strangers was hard, but clearly I have proved myself wrong. It was definitely way more intimidating to get up and talk to people who know me. Especially ones who have known me my whole life. Totally scary! But it was a blast because of course the same people who I was intimidated to speak in front of are the very same ones who have loved and supported me from the beginning when I said "I am going to be a children's book illustrator one day."
It was the first time I had the opportunity to read Pelly and Mr. Harrison Visit the Moon aloud to my family. And of course I had my Pelly doll! Which I made everyone take pictures with as I signed books. Here are a couple shots of me and my very good friend Carl (who I have known since the very first day I saw him in the hospital when he was born!) and his cousin Addison with Pelly.
I had such a wonderful time visiting all of my friends and family back home, but for me, Hicklebee's was definitely the highlight! Thank you to the entire Hicklebee's staff, who I am very proud to call my friends and to Valerie and Monica for all that they have done for the community and the world of children's books when they opened their doors 32 years ago.