This weekend I had the honor of seeing Neighborhood Sharks in the print edition of the New York Times. My husband and I got our copy at the nearest newsstand, and I dug through the pages until I found the review sitting there among the “Sea Creatures” in the Children’s Book section. Black and white and blood red all over; how cool so see my book among such amazing company! We took a photo, I posted it on Facebook, and now a few friends are joking that I’m famous.
I’m not famous, of course. But I am delighted to be in the Times, and I’m incredibly grateful to Maria Russo for her wonderful review. It’s a public accolade that friends and family can connect to and directly purchase, very different from the (also amazing) trade reviews meant for folks inside the industry. This review means more exposure, a few more parents who pick up Neighborhood Sharks, and a few more children who read it (awesome!). But as my book approaches its sixth week in the world, the reviews that personally matter the most are the ones starting to reach me from kids. Nothing puts a smile on my face like seeing photos of kids interacting with Sharks.
A friend who works at McNally Jackson Books told me she loves sharing Neighborhood Sharks with young readers, because she knows exactly where to open the book to engage their wonder and enthusiasm. “Why is there a big spoon?” she overheard a kid ask his dad when they turned to the Farallon Soup spread. “Well it’s a metaphor,” he said. “What’s a metaphor?” the kid asked. Five minutes later they were still discussing metaphors, the father having a great time and his kid learning something new. What an amazing “review” to get for Sharks. I love that through this book I get to contribute to so many different kinds of conversations about books, nonfiction, education, and reading.
Hooray for the Times, for Kirkus and Booklist, for School Library Journal, The Bulletin, Publisher’s Weekly, and Horn Book Magazine! But also, from the bottom of my heart, hooray for the book sellers, teachers, librarians, and parents everywhere who put my book into the little hands of so many incredible young critics!
Thank you for dropping by my blog, and if you’re in the Twittersphere please join me tonight for the November #SharpSchu Book Club Meeting with Colby Sharp and John Schu. I will be interviewed between 7:20 and 7:40 PM Central Standard Time. Hope to see you there!