Quick Peek at Frostburg's Festival

Look at these beautiful people!

John, Barb, Joanna, Sarah, Bill, Katie, and Jodi -- organizer peeps and extraordinary humans.

Barb Ornstein and Bill Bingman shepherd a bazillion details into one beautiful weekend each April in Frostburg, Maryland. They have great good help with their ever-rotating team of enthusiastic grad students and professors, and I am proud proud proud to be claimed as family by these folks, who call me Deb -- even my name tag says Deb Wiles. I love how they love me. :>

I've worked several times with the Children's Literature Center in Frostburg, and each time I am struck by the professionalism and heart -- deep heart -- with which these folks in the mountains of western Maryland put together a meaningful, useful, luscious program for an area that is rich in natural resources but sparse in population. Conference attendees come from Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Virginia (saw Karen Huff from Shenandoah -- very nice to see Shenandoah supporting this conference as well) and beyond.

I am rushing out the door to school this morning in Houston, but wanted to send some photos your way first. I hope I can come back and tell you more, soon, but for now, know that this is a conference to savor, well worth your time and energy getting to the beautiful western Maryland mountains. That's Katie and Sarah on the right -- they kept us straight all weekend. Kind doesn't begin to describe them.

Ted and Betsy Lewin started us off, and I didn't get one photo of them doing their thing, but I loved getting to know them and hearing about their latest collaboration, HORSE SONG.

I did get a photo of Kaethe Zemach teaching us how to draw faces.

And here are some of her faces. I appreciated the stories Kaethe told about growing up with Caldecott-winning parents Herve and Margot Zemach... it was lovely to hear her insights into drawing and living.

Okay. I'm officially late, or will be in two minutes. Me 'n Jerry Pinkney today, at Beth Yeshurun Day School, along with... well, I'll tell you all about it, soon's I'm home.

Here are... here are... oh, I can tell you all about them, just can't call up names under pressure! We signed tons of books together, though -- and I felt well cared for. I always feel well-cared-for in the mountains I love, with people who love me. The feeling is mutual, guys. Big love to you. Thank you so much for inviting me back.

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