January 19, 2010

Jerry Pinkney

Man, you guys are way too understanding. Not one of you took me to task about my grump yesterday. I got all nice, encouraging comments (which I'm very thankful for, of course). The best one came this morning from MLB (My Lovely Bride):

"Suck it up Eeyore! What do you have to feel grumpy about? What kind of attitude is that from the soon-to-be-best-ever-teacher-librarian- who-might-also-dress-up-as-Captain-Underpants?!

I mean really - if you are going to go all 'Eeyore' online then it's probably time to hang up your hat before you fall
into 'Julie and Julia' egocentrist pitydom.

You rock - stop being a grump - you love books and you know it so ...

suck it up and do something BOOKY!"

Now THAT, my friends, is a comment! Is she not the best thing ever? (And full disclosure: I have indeed dressed up as Captain Underpants.)

So here you go. Among the mind-numbing list of awards yesterday and all the gushing, there was indeed one that got me. Jerry Pinkney. I didn't realize he'd never won the Caldecott. He's won the Honors numerous times and it's not like he's hurting for awards, but it's nice that he's finally gotten the gold seal for his The Lion & the Mouse.

I got to spend some time with him at the Georgia Book Awards a few years ago. He actually wasn't on the original lineup. He graciously stepped in for an ailing Julius Lester. I spent a long evening at an airport waiting to pick him up, but that flight never came. The next morning he arrived right in time to speak. In all the time I was with him, during book signings and such, he was a friendly but serious guy. It was only when he began showing slides of his artwork and talking about the art and the stories that he just softened up and had a lot to say.

He's clearly in love with the natural world and storytelling and he has an absolutely amazing body of work that he has shared with us.

He's also very up front about the learning difficulties he had as a student and is amazed that he is now a producer of books. Actually, I was struck that year that a number of well-known children's writers and illustrators had reading and writing difficulties. It's great when they share this with teachers, librarians and students so we never forget that there are different ways to learn and different ways to succeed.

Congratulations, Mr. Pinkney. Keep up the excellent work.


Victoria said...

She does know how to put things. Michael does the same for me. True companionship is a good thing.

So...Captain Underpants, huh!?! I do think that is probably better than Professor Poopypants.

MotherReader said...

Well, that's the "Live every week like it's Shark Week!" guy that we know and love. Welcome back.

I meant to comment yesterday when I read your post, but it looks like you pulled through all right. It's true that my blog reader was full of the same list of books over and over again. It didn't make for good commenting, though it was an excellent day for flying through the blog reader. When Big Things happen, we all often want a record on our own blog, for ourselves. But it's a lot to see it everywhere.

Some days aren't good comment days or one isn't in the zone. No worries. Some days aren't even good book reviewing days, but it's still fun to be part of the community.

Harrell Elizabeth said...

She is awesome!!!!!!

klonghall said...

I'd definitely put the Capt. Underpants thing on your resume when looking for a job as a media specialist. If I were a principal, that would seal the deal right there! You really should post those pix!

Your Lovely Bride is a keeper! 'Glad you're back today!

Jim said...

Yes she does. She is all that. Thanks.

You nailed it: it's a great community. Switching my focus from Haiti to awards stuff was hard, but they are all deserving books and worthy of honor. Thanks for the perspective.

I know, right!?

Those pix are very old, so I'd have to scan them. It wasn't the same exact outfit as the Capt., but everyone got the idea. I even carried around a roll of toilet paper and tossed it at people. Fun, fun!