Sunday, July 31, 2016


Sophie at the Gates Foundation with her artwork for the Measles and Rubella Initiative because she's so effing amazing.
While there is nothing like hearing Sophie Blackall speak in person — and seeing the treasure trove of images that make up her slideshows — you can get a bit of a taste of this morning's speech by reading her Caldecott acceptance speech so kindly available online at The Horn Book.

Sophie also shares some photos of the installation of her collections she put together for Brooklyn Public Library, an installation that is as wild and fascinating as anything you'd find at the Natural Museum of History (both Sophie's installation and the American Museum of Natural History have penguins, but Sophie's wears a top hat).

REALLY, if you're not here today to hear Sophie, the best thing you can do is go buy all of Sophie's thirty or so books, immediately.

And also read her excellent blog, which tells in depth the making-of stories behind many of her books, including Finding Winnie as well as posts about her time in places like Rwanda or the DRC, where she was lucky enough to meet amazing kids and families.

Sophie ends with an Annie Dillard quote:

One of the things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water. Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.

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