Stay Home, Please. Don’t Celebrate Children’s Book Day at “Sunnyside” in Tarrytown, NY, 9/25

Just stay home. Please.

Find something else to do.

Each year I do this event, which features more than 60 amazing children’s book authors and illustrators, and it’s always such a disappointment. For starters, check out some of the people who’ll be there, and you’ll understand why I’m so bummed:

Tony Abbott, Nora Raleigh Baskin, Nick Bruel, Bryan Collier, Katie Davis, Bruce Degen, Jean Craighead George, Charise Mericle Harper, Susan Jeffers, Peter Lerangis, Gail Carson Levine, Carolyn MacCullough, Rafe Martin, Wendy Mass, Matthew McElligott, Helen Perelman, Wendell Minor, Gloria Pinkney, Lizzy Rockwell, Todd Strasser, Mark Teague, Jean Van Leeuwen, Eric Velasquez, Sarah Weeks, Ed Young, and more.

Why so down-in-the-dumps you ask? Because I never get to talk to any of them. I never get a chance to meet the new (to me!) people, like Will Moses (Mary and Her Little Lamb), Lena Roy (Edges), Daniel Kirk (Library Mouse), Peter Brown (You Will Be My Friend!) . . .

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. . . and Jerry Davis (Little Chicken’s Big Day). Who are these people? Might they become my new best pals? Um, not likely! Because they are sitting at tables forty feet away, surrounded by happy children, shopping grandparents, and strong-armed educators, hauling bags of books like Sherpa guides.

Best I can do is throw rocks at ’em.

And, oh, hey, look over there, it’s Jean Craighead George. She’s only a freakin’ legend. I can’t throw rocks at Jean Craighead George. She’ll throw them back — and her arm is a bazooka.

Oh,  wait.  Here’s old friends like Mark Teague and Helen Perelman and Peter Lerangis. Can I talk to any of them? Can we hang out? Maybe shoot the breeze? Commiserate?

Nooooooo. I’m too busy signing books, meeting young readers, gabbing with families, prostrating myself before the cheerful & smiling hordes.

Writing is a solitary business, folks. And it’s frustrating for me to sit there at gorgeous Sunnyside . . .

. . . just feet away from my peerless peers, and never have a free minute to chat with them.

So my dream is for just one year, nobody comes. No book sales, no signings, no musicians, no storytellers, no-bah-dee. Just us authors, finally (finally!) enjoying a few moments when we can hang out and complain about the crappy jobs our publishers do with publicity and marketing. It’s how we bond. We bitch and moan about Kindles.

So this coming Sunday, clean the garage, watch football, wax the car. But if you insist on coming . . . click here for full details.

As always, blue skies are personally guaranteed. It never rains on my parade.


  1. Tammy says:

    You are so fun to read! I wish I could come!

  2. jimmy says:

    Thank you, Tammy. It’s a long drive from Albany, but on a clear day, Sunnyside is just a gorgeous place to be. But probably expensive for a book-lover like you.

  3. Dina says:

    I get what you’re saying, but this sounds like a fabulous day! Throw a rock at Peter Brown for me, please.

  4. jimmy says:

    No, Dina, it’s awful. Just books and book-lovers and authors and . . . yuck. Really, you don’t want to go anywhere near this place. Think of it as an old-fashioned leper colony, except that instead of leprosy the disease is literacy.

    And it’s true: A lot of these author types don’t even brush their teeth. You talk to them and all you can think about is what they ate for breakfast. You’ve been warned.

  5. Dina says:


    I love your blog and I laughed out loud. How right you are. It is a literary love-in. And no, I do not want it to be high class party for all the authors. I want great weather and lots and lots of happy visitors and fans of high quality children’s lit. Perhaps you can have an after party at the diner.

    Dina Friedman,

    Sunnyside Site Director

  6. Wait. You go to this thing too?? Was that you who threw the half-pastrami sandwich at me? All along I thought it was George Clooney. Not that he was there, but you know, the resemblance and all … Hey, anyway, see you there, Jimmy. I’m bringing smoke signals,

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