Thursday, June 18, 2009

Celebrity siting

Well, a celebrity in my world.

Today, R and I were invited to the ethereal world of Tad Hills, author and illustrator of children's books including the adorable Duck and Goose. For the longest time, I used to pass the Hills on my way to school as they walked in the opposite direction of their kids' school. The only words exchanged were a friendly, sometimes sleepy "hello." We never stopped long enough to say anything else. I didn't know who Tad was until R told me one day while we walked to school and passed him on the way.

Yesterday, R ran into Tad and he invited her to preview his upcoming release, Rocket Learns to Read. Of course, being the good friend that she is, she asked if she could bring me along. The book was beautiful. R and I both had a hard time choosing our favorite page. But more than the book, we were interested in the adorable life of the Hills family.

His house is like a cottage situated in the middle of Brooklyn, complete with a tree house out back. His children *run* a week-long summer camp for 4, 5, and 6-yr olds. They are only 13 and 11 themselves. Tad and his mother, *JoNana* [her cute grandma name] oversee the camp operation, preparing Campbell's soup for lunch, and ensuring the treats for the afternoon bake sale don't get eaten before the sale.

Tad was very welcoming, inviting us to *take a look around*, which was hard not to do anyway because of all the teeny clay figurines perched on the bookshelves along with family photos, last year's Hallowe'en costume in a doorway [a replica of their house], and Rocket, the family dog, nestled in his crate. We also got to watch his kids in action, teaching the 9 neighborhood kids how to make sunprints in the backyard.

It all made me giddy and wanting such a camp for Indio when he's old enough. For now, I guess I'll have to settle for Tad's autograph in Indy's Duck and Goose board books. Hopefully, that'll be our ticket to camp in a few years. Can't you just hear me now: "Hi Tad. Remember me? You signed books for my son, Indio right before we moved to Canada? And you promised him a spot at your camp as long as we came back to Brooklyn to visit. Remember?"


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