Life is good and it just keeps getting better.
For many, many years I have had a intense love for the creations of children's book author and illustrator Todd Parr. His artwork is bright, colorful, happy, childlike and totally engaging. His words convey a message of peace, acceptance, honesty, fun and love.
The work seems to be the creation of someone who has a passion for what he does and follows his bliss.
I first discovered Todd Parr through the book It's Okay To Be Different and after that first reading I was hopelessly hooked. At the time it seemed to me as though Todd Parr was my little secret, not well known but deserving of attention on a grand scale. It became my mission to get the word out.
And I did in small ways. All the children in my life got Todd Parr books as gifts, I encouraged friends to follow suit and purchase his books for the little ones in their families, I read his books to my elementary students who subsequently fell in love with the adventures of Otto and Underwear Do's and Don'ts and our school librarian ordered his entire catalog for the children's library AND my classroom library.
Through the years his popularity has certainly taken off. He has a successful children's television program entitled Todd's World and merchandising ranging from children's clothing to toys for your pet.
But since the beginning I thought that it would be AMAZING if I could have an opportunity to meet him and share with him the impact of his work. Here is a children's book author/illustrator who I greatly admire that I could actually meet (unlike the creators of a certain little monkey).
And on Thursday, March 24, 2010 after a book reading at the New York Public Library on 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue I finally did!
Todd signed a few books for this (hopefully) outwardly composed individual (inside I was screaming "I AM TALKING TO TODD PARR!!) and by the end of our short conversation he expressed an interest in visiting my school. Everything after that was a blur but I know that I floated out of the library feeling elated and hopeful.
It is not often that we meet public figures we greatly admire. It is even less often that they admire your work as well and offer to visit. A date in early June was mentioned as a possibility so I remain hopeful that the details will all get worked out and this happens.
In the meanwhile I FINALLY MET TODD PARR!!