Friday, August 08, 2008
SCBWI Conference Highlight #1
I'm not a writer of picture books, but when writer/illustrator Yuyi Morales accepted her Golden Kite Award for best picture book illustration, I and 900 others attending the luncheon got teary eyed. Her speech was intensely creative, hilarious, and touching, and I wish I could remember exactly how she managed that.
She talked about trying to find inspiration for her speech, and then, in vivid poetic language, descibed how she went hiking in the hills and found it there. She told us the Peruvian story of Night which, along with her own mother, inspired her to write and illustrate her award winning book. (It's stunning to behold, this book, by the way, all blues, purples, and blacks, but somehow emanates a joyful warmth that we all could see in Yuyi herself.) She spoke of her husband and her son, and then she showed a power point presentation illustrating the thrill she felt at finding out she got the award that literally brought the crowd to their feet in a standing ovation.
Here is a woman who was once a very poor immigrant, with no friends in this country, who has used her creative energy to make a magnificent life for herself, a life where she touches the hearts of children and inspires other writers. Amazing what art can do.