I love old out of print picture books books from last century and I spend too much time looking for them online and in market stalls. I still managed to look at the brown envelope on the floor on March 26 and think "Did I buy something online? What is this?" I was slightly annoyed, why do I keep forgetting stuff? And while unravelling all that paper, the realisation came to me that this was wrapped because it was special: that this was actually my book, yes, MY book!!!! And as if nothing, 4+ years in the making, in may kitchen Umbrella poped out of all it's paper wrappings into my hands in all it's magic 3D-realness! And it was glorious!
When I had stoped jumping, my son Oli (14) took this photo and I was so completely delighted! I'm not sure I'm ever going to overcome the delight of holding a book of mine in physical form. This has not been the first one, but my goodness, Scallywag had done such a brilliant job with the book-object itself!
The next day I was going to go to my first session of parents book club at UCPS, and because my friend Tonka was going to be there, I brought the book along to show her. Before the session began there were lots and lots of beautiful picture books and chapter books to browse. My intention was only to show Tonka discreetly before everyone arrived, but then she showed it to Aimee Durning who is learning coach, reading for pleasure lead and (in not just my view) heart of our school and she asked me if I would read it to the book club to start the session, as they always start with a reading.... So right there and then, less than 24 hours since receiving my copy of the book I was having my first ever public reading. Eeeeek! The words felt like boulders in my mouth but everyone there was so supportive and attentive and got me through the reading somehow. Afterwards pictures were taken and the Umbrella was tweeted about by the head teacher and so, the afternoon went from "I'll just quickly show it to Tonka" to the book being put out there for everyone to see.
I am glad it all happened there as I could not have wished for a more supportive outing.
This outing would lead to an invitation to return to the school as a visiting author for empathy day, and thus the start of the book taking me places rather than the other way around.
I'm holding on to the edges, and hoping it's going to be along ride!