Happy Birthday, SMALL WORLD!
The picture book I wrote is out in the world today.
It's such an odd and amazing and marvelous thing to write a picture book: to send your words into the hands of an illustrator and to see what they do with them, To wait and wait and wait. To see your story take shape, and to see how an ellipsis can be eliminated with a page break.
It is alchemy.
I'm so grateful to all the people who made this book possible: to my critique partners, who are too numerous to name (because this book took so many years to get right)--you know who you are. To Laura Biagi, who loved it and who saw straight to the heart of it even before I did and who found it a home at ABRAMS; to Tamar Brazis, whose intelligent feedback pushed me farther than I thought I could go as a picture book writer; to Chad Beckerman, whose skills as a book designer made the cover pop; to the team at ABRAMS in the States and at Manda Group in Canada who invested I don't even know how many hours in promoting it, from banners to posters to ads to scheduling bookstore events: Brooke, Trish, Courtney, Jenny, Nicole, Rachel, Emma, Andrew... You are all absolute rock stars! To Jennifer Weltz, who shepherded me through this crazy process and answered all my questions, even the stupid ones; and most of all, to Jen Corace, who took my words and worked magic with them. Jen saw who Nanda was and breathed life into her, giving her depth and breadth and a fiery spirit, and I will be forever grateful to her for saying yes to my words.
Finally: Thank you. Thank you for supporting Nanda as her story ventures out into the world. Thank you for reading it, for talking about it, for sharing it with your children and students. Thank you for allowing Nanda to inspire them to be amazing and to do incredible things.
I wrote Small World for so many reasons, but mostly, I wrote it because the Earth is beautiful, and because I want children to see that beauty and revel in it and know that it is for all of us: you, me, them... This world, our world, is for everyone. I want them to know that if you follow your curiosity and your passion, it can take you to amazing places. And I want them to know that when you dream big for your future, you can achieve great things. Small World is a book that shows us, all of us, what life is supposed to be for all children.
Let's make it so for them.