The West San Gabriel Valley Schmooze meets every other month at the Hastings Branch of the Pasadena Library.
Our topics vary, as does our attendance. This year's highlight was the presentation on picture books by two of our schmoozers, Ann Garrett and Susan Lendroth. In tandem, and with a professional flair which made us urge them to 'take their show on the road' they covered the creation of a picture book.
Susan is never without her 'note' notebook. An idea - a jot. She admits to breaking all the rules about limiting vocabulary, or avoiding rhyme. Her first picture book, Why Explore? was the result of responding to questions about the value of space exploration after a shuttle tragedy. It contains a variety of rhymed questions and answers about the importance of exploring new lands, the microscopic world, ancient civilizations, etc.
Ann's picture books include What's for Lunch, What's for Dinner, and Tales of Tails. Each is a book with lift-up flaps - and one had sales of more than 25,000 copies. Evidence of its success was the ear-splitting tantrum thrown by a boy who refused to let it go long enough for his mother to purchase it. The entire bookstore was treated to the shrieking enthusiasm of this young reader.
Both writers emphasized the importance of maintaining a constant work-in-progress, work submitted, idea-hatching ethic. With a delightful sense of humor, while facing the reality of today's grim marketplace, Ann and Susan are an act worth