Judy Zuckerman, Chair of the Caldecott Committee that selected A Sick Day For Amos McGee as the winner of the prestigious award, hosted the creators of the book at the Brooklyn Public Library. Erin E. Stead, who illustrated the book, is the youngest person ever to win the Caldecott Medal, and also the first person to win the award for her very first book. Her husband, Philip Christian Stead, wrote the story, which also won the Charlotte Zolotow Honor Award for outstanding writing in a picture book. Neal Porter, who established Neal Porter books and edited Amos McGee, was also present to comment on the creation of the book and sing the praises of working with these remarkable young artists.
The audience got a “photo tour” of the couple’s life together in Ann Arbor, Michigan. They live in a barn – not in the country – but in the middle of downtown Ann Arbor. The upstairs apartment is where they live with their dog, Wednesday McGee (yes, that’s where Amos’s last name comes from) and the lower level is their studio. Erin showed photos demonstrating how she made the woodcuts for Amos McGee while she talked about her creative process. If you took the CLASC field trip to Books of Wonder some years ago, you may remember Erin, as she is one of the many creators of children’s books to get her start at this remarkable book store that specializes in literature for kids and teens.
Phil, who works across the room from Erin, showed us his process in making his next book, Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat. Phil, who is also a musician, created this wonderful book trailer that features his own musical composition. When will this book be published? Join the countdown in boat postage stamps at Phil’s blog. He’s collected these since he was eleven years old. His previous book, Creamed Tuna Fish and Peas on Toast, is already available in Suffolk libraries.
Many familiar faces were in the audience, including Kelly and Danielle from Hampton Bays, Christine from Smithtown, and Liz and Amy from Northport-East Northport.