Big news, people: In recent months I teamed up with Mela Bolinao (above) of the amazing children's book illustration agency MB Artists. Hooooo-ray!
Book Expo America happened last weekend, which got me back to NYC for the first time in a long while. After moths of exchanging e-mail, my new Manhattan-based agent and I were finally able to meet in person.
Mela's place and her hospitality were an oasis on that marathon day. First she fed me beautiful fresh berries, a kindness this weary traveler will not soon forget. Then we talked and talked, and looked at art. Mela's walls are an illustration gallery including original paintings by some of my long-time heroes, all members of MB Artists, including Hiroe Nakate. (I am such a fan—love you, Hiroe! My son Gray and I read Lucky Pennies and Hot Chocolate a million times together when he was little.)
I got to meet Mela's beautiful assistant Jess, and her brother Jon who does the books and is very good at treating illustrators like rock stars. Also in attendance: Mela's incredible kids, Milo (3) and Maya (5). Maya, a budding literary genius, wrote an illustrated a book from start to almost-finish during my brief stay.
What. A. Pleasure.
Mela, thanks for the visit and everything else, and I look forward to hanging out again soon.
All the best,