for the Month: June 2012
As our semi-official human interest blogger I was assigned a post* about people’s summer vacation plans…I did a little emailing and found out that:
Kathy, in Production, is driving with her teenage son, her beau, and his teenage daughter to Florida. They’re going to visit South Beach and Miami which sounds pretty swell, but, frankly it’s the driving with the teenagers that really impresses me! Seriously though, I love traveling with older kids and I’ll bet they’ll have lots of laughs.
When I signed on to write Yankee Greats: 100 Classic Baseball Cards last year, it completed a full circle of my life not only as a fan of the storied New York franchise but also of the baseball cards that celebrate its players. I grew up as a Yankees devotee in Syracuse, NY, during the 1950s and ’60s, relishing in numerous world championships before the team went into a prolonged slump. Alas, my fandom followed a similar downward trajectory. By then, too, the shoeboxes full of Topps baseball cards that I’d amassed in my youth were bygone, their value only in the space freed up in my closet after they were chucked.
A Greyhound of a Girl (released on May 1st, 2012) is a coming-of-age story about four generations of women who meet in present-day Ireland and set forth on an incredible journey. Recently, I got to speak with Roddy Doyle, the author of Greyhound and past Booker Prize winner, about writing the book, family, Ireland, and the importance of writing for young adults. Check out the interview below!
“For the last fifty years there has been absolutely no debate about who is the most important golfer of all time. It is Arnold Palmer.” — John Feinstein
Although I was never a huge golf fan, I have always been aware of Arnold Palmer. For one thing, my dad loved golf, loved playing golf, and even worked at a golf course after he retired to Florida. I would hear him mention Palmer all the time. And soon after I started working at Abrams, STC published Palmer: Memories, Stories, and Memorabilia from a Life on and Off the Course, which included official Palmer memorabilia. The book was a hit and sold beyond expectations. Now, STC has just published The Classic Palmer by renowned sportswriter John Feinstein with stunning photographs by Walter Iooss.
A self confessed pop-culture junkie, photographer Lyle Owerko has been on the forefront of youth culture from the moment he gazed into the album art of his first record purchase when he was 11 years old. A music fanatic and a collector of boombox’s since his teens he’s had a one constantly in his life either playing mix tapes, hooked up to a discman or even now simply connected to an iPod. Lyle has had many models of different shapes and sizes pass through his life, but his collection today is centered around 40 boombox’s that are vintage late 70s or early 80s and for the most part can be described as very very large (one of them is now in the permentant collection of the V&A Museum in London). As a well known documentary photographer he’s used them in many shoots and even brought one on tour in Japan with the Island/Def Jam artist American Hi-Fi. In a frenzy of tour finale angst, that radio was magnificently sacrificed in a ceremony of Rock God homage through the smashing of it’s sonic self on stage in Tokyo by Stacey Jones, the lead singer of the band. A Godzilla like hole was left in the stage, the Japanese fans screamed in approval and the papers printed pictures of the moment as a part of Japanese rock n’ roll history.
When I heard the learn’d astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them;
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.
… the balloon whispered itself fat with the hot air rising inside … It was so beautiful, with the light and the shadows dancing inside … It floated up above the apple trees, over the beginning-to-sleep town, and across the night among the stars.
~Ray Bradbury (d. June 6, 2012)
New Yorkers never look up, that’s what they say, but maybe you were out of town, or curious, or practicing a new yoga move, and noted these reasons to glance skyward:
On June 6th, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) hosted a Children’s Art Auction at Book Expo America. The event included a silent and live auction, both featuring work from several ABRAMS authors. You can see a preview of the art here. My personal favorites were a shadow box of three origami characters from Tom Angleberger, a watercolor painting of “Piggies enjoying a good read” from Claudia Rueda, and an acrylic painting of pancakes with syrup from Matt Luckhurst.
For my next ABRAMS blog post, I decided to make something from Warren Brown’s Cakelove in the Morning. Everything in that cookbook looks so amazing, but I asked Warren what he thought I should make. He said that I should absolutely make the breakfast lasagna – it’s super fun and also impressive. I was all set to make that until I realized… there is no way in hell my kids will eat breakfast lasagna. Anything that is not familiar to them and immediately recognizable gets promptly rejected.
I only had one kid with me this past weekend (my eldest was away with my parents) so she and I were going to do this thing together. One thing Penny does love is blueberries – blueberry pancakes, blueberry waffles, or just plain blueberries in a bowl. So I decided to just make the crowd pleaser: the blueberry muffin. I did hit a snag when purchasing the ingredients – Warren’s recipe calls for turbinado sugar, superfine sugar, and potato starch, NONE of which were available at my local Pathmark. But after a quick trip to the local gourmet (fancy) grocery store, we were ready to go.
ANIMALS and FEELINGS, Little Pim’s newest English-Spanish-French books have arrived, continuing the fun adventures of the loveable panda Little Pim. I recently read the language learning books to several groups of 2 and 3 year olds at a Brooklyn private school. Asking each class to say if they could see the pig (cochon/cierdo) and facing the book out to them, pulled the tabs and waited for their excited cries of “oui” if they could see the pig or “non” if they couldn’t. It seems so simple, but they loved the suspense of waiting for the pull tab, and the thrill of finding the animals (lots of pointing and exclaiming) and surprising the author with their loud yess-es and no’s.
It’s the weekend and time to raise a glass! While you might not be sitting on the beach at the moment, nothing rings in that spirit of a summer weekend better than a nice refreshing rum cocktail. So get started properly with our ‘sub’-tropically inspired Palmetto Punch. Brought to you from the shores of South Carolina, but is just as delicious no matter where you find yourself mixing your drinks. Palmetto Punch has three kinds of rum and is topped off with some wholesome fruit juice (so you can pretend you are being healthy). It’s a fantastic drink all year round, but even more special when the temperature is rising and the sun is shining…. ENJOY!!