Thursday, January 24, 2008

Meet our new Ambassador, Jon Scieszka!

Jon Scieszka, he of Stinky Cheese fame, was named America’s first Ambassador for Young People’s Literature on January 3, 2008. Basically, Scieszka will be a high-profile PR person for kids’ books, and I can’t think of a better person to do the job. He’s silly, verbally quick on his feet, entertaining, and will give great interviews on mainstream morning programs and popular late night talk shows to people and for people who are largely unfamiliar with the best that Children’s Literature has to offer.

I was fortunate enough to see his, um, knighting, appointment, election … (how is an ambassador placed into power anyhow?) at the newly minted Mulberry Street Branch in SoHo. Man, this guy must have been a hoot to have as a teacher! He had the kids and the adults rolling in the aisles the whole time, but knew exactly when to give a serious answer when a student or grown up needed straight info from their Ambassador.

During his presentation, Scieszka admitted he was most excited about two things:

1. Having access to the Presidential helicopter during his two-year reign as Ambassador, and
2. Telling kids and their grownups about all the cool "weird" children's books that are out there.
Check out this link on the Library of Congress website to get the full story, and this article from the New York Times. Long live our new Ambassador!!!