If you’re reading this first thing in the morning, be sure you make your cup of coffee straightaway. After all, it’s National Coffee Week.
Now sit down and, as you drink your coffee, pretend you’re sitting in the extravagant Caffe Gilli in Florence. Go ahead, make it a cappuccino. Have a croissant, too. Caffe Gilli doesn’t cost a penny when you’re daydreaming.
As you sip, you need something to read. Here is something wonderful – an interview with the author/illustrator Maria Kalman posted this week on the Art of the Picture Book website.
When you finish, you can tell yourself you just had the perfect morning, and it will be true. Coffee and Kalman.
If you want a second cup, pour yourself one. This time pretend you’re in the Caffe Greco in Rome, founded in 1760, the spot where John Keats drank his morning tea.
With your second cup, try the two short videos (below) of storyteller Patricia McKissack. They are excerpts (can’t find the whole lecture) from her 2010 Spencer Shaw talk at the University of Washington. The highlight for me: She reads a poem by Paul Lawrence Dunbar in the style of a jump-rope rhyme (Video 2.) In the first video, she talks about her storytelling coming from inquisitiveness – she wants answers, but she wants good stories, too. And can she tell a story! – as could her grandparents and her mother – I wish I’d been at that lecture to hear her.
By the way, the Spencer Shaw Endowed Lecture this year will be given by author/ illustrator Yuyi Morales. You can hear the lecture free – live streaming on YouTube October 14th at noon PST – here’s a link.
McKissack Video 1 “I write because I have an inquisitive mind.”
McKissack Video 2 Jumping Rope to Paul Lawrence Dunbar
[Note: When you watch the McKissack videos, be sure to move the bar back to the beginning – for some reason they’re opening for me mid-way through.]
And if you need a shot of Caffe Greco’s interior for your daydreaming, here it is. Sigh.