Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Out of the box

Among the awards announced yesterday, I want to highlight one other: a Geisel Honor award for Antoinette Portis and her debut book, Not a Box.

I first got to hear/see this book when it was still in dummy form, before it was even sold. And for me, anyway, encountering it was one of those lightbulb moments -- oh yeah, THAT'S how a picture book should work. I had to read my manuscript aloud shortly after Not a Box was read/shown and while my story was funny and interesting (I thought), I knew that it wasn't yet a picture book, even though I'd thought it was up til mere moments before. It was a rare moment of clarity that still informs my writing.

Since the book's come out, I've read it aloud to every class I read to (okay... that can be all of them), and no matter the age of the listener, adults included, folks identify, participate, root, laugh, and then more often than not share their own stories. Good times, indeed. Check it out, I say!

So congratulations to Antoinette... and to all the other winners as well.


Kelly said...

Congrats to her from me too, Greg. Like I said, it's one of those rare "instant classic" books.

topangamaria said...

She also made the ALSC Notable Childrens Book List with Not A Box. Hurray for Antoinette !!!

MotherReader said...

Okay, so you did mention it - eventually. No, really, convey my congrats to your friend. It's a great little book.