I might as well admit it. There’s no point in keeping it from you, after all. I am that crazy lady who dons a formidable frowny face, crosses her arms in a jealous huff and maybe even mounts an ironic fist waggle when she sees the last school buses of the season drive past. The children celebrate their newfound freedom and dash down the street without a care in the world while I stew on the porch with my afternoon coffee and wish they’d quit their bragging.
OK, maybe it’s not as bad as all that. But as I wandered the exhibit hall at the American Library Association’s Annual Meeting this past week, I was reminded with a fair amount of envy the pleasure of picking up a children’s book for the first time, particularly one selected just for fun during the summer holidays. At ALA, there were a staggering number librarians milling around, excited to get their hands on copies of everything from picture books to early readers to young adult novels. Their enthusiasm wasn’t for themselves alone, but for the joy they could bring to their patrons back home. It was absolutely infectious.
I remember the joy of rediscovering old favourites. Sometimes you don’t need a big, challenging tome that you have to digest like the dietary fibre of the literary buffet. Sometimes you just want to read something familiar and good. Sometimes you go back to that old, worn copy of that magical fantasy you gobbled up as a kid. Or maybe you want to revisit that young adult novel that positively made you cry. And there’s nothing like the feeling of unearthing a picture book that your parents read to you over and over as a kid.
You can never go home again, but you can sure read yourself there.
May we humbly recommend these children’s titles? Certainly worthy of a good re-read:
- Dancer by Shelley Peterson
- Fire Ship by Marianne Brandis
- Down in the Bottom of the Bottom of the Box by JonArno Lawson
- The Old Woman and the Hen by P. K. Page
- Take the Big Picture by James Reaney
And of course, no list would be complete without…
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
What’s happening this month…
Tim and Elke have been busy printing and binding in the shop, so it looks like we’re on track for Strike Anywhere and The Exile’s Papers Part Four to make their debut. Then we’re moving on to preparing our Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 new releases. No rest for the weary, eh?
Also on tap for July is a visit from the TUG conference attendees. The annual meeting of the TeX Users Group will be held in Toronto this year, and some members will be making the day trip out to Erin to see our unique publishing workflow and printing process in action.
More TUG fun! PQL’s Tim Inkster will present a short history of his early years in Canadian publishing to attendees at the TUG Conference. The talk will take place at the Bond Place Hotel on July 27.
The works of The Grand River artist Gerard Brender à Brandis will be on display at the Homer Watson House and Gallery in Kitchener until August 15. This event corresponds with the 50th anniversary of Gerard’s first solo exhibition, which took place in the gallery.
From the porcupette’s corner…
Well, if you really want to know, I suppose I can let you in on what I’ve been working on here at PQL. Of course, by now you’ve heard that I was lucky enough to experience June in Orlando for the 2016 ALA Annual Meeting. You can read more about that here, and check out a few pictures for your trouble.
But that’s not all. I’ve also been very happy to be able to chat with some of our contacts at places like EBSCO, YBP, Ingram and so on. I know, I know, it sounds boring, but actually, it’s fascinating to learn exactly what each business does for us, and how our business relationships function. They’ve all been very patient with me as I’ve asked questions (some of them invariably dumb) and learned the ins and outs of the biz.
Also exciting is all the manuscript reading that has been going on. There are some truly excellent gems hiding out in our “slush” pile, and I can’t wait to keep reading some of the more compelling examples.