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Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Man Who knew the Man Who Wrote The Stinky Cheese Man

One day  I was in my elementary library and a man came walking down the hall -- and since I did not recognize him as a parent, I stepped into the hall and inquired about his presence (we were very aware of people in our building).  He explained that he had gone to Harrison and that he was back in town and just wanted to take a look at his old elementary school.  I invited him in and he was interested in the computer catalog and the collection.  He sat down at a computer and questioned outloud "I wonder if my friend's name is in your computer?"  We  suggested he type the name in -- it was Jon Scieszka.  Of course, it was in our system.  My secretary who LOVED Jon Scieszka's work nearly fainted.  Come to find out Jon Scieszka and this man had roomed together in art school.  My memory says that he said that he stayed in touch with Jon but was not a close friend, just a casual friend at this point.

Jon Scieszka was the Library of Congress's First Ambassador for Children's Books. Katherine Paterson was selected as the second ambassador in 2011. In 2012 Walter Dean Myers was the choice as ambassador.

That is my Jon Scieszka story.  The story reminds me always of the line in Patricia Polacco's Pink and Say, "This is the hand that touched the hand that shook the hand of Abraham Lincoln."  So this was the man who knew the man who wrote The Stinky Cheese Man.  A thrill by any standard.

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