Today I went off on a little field trip to my local library, specifically the kids section. I've been pretty darn busy recently, and haven't had as much time as I would like to to find new illustrators, stories, techniques, stuff like that. So, today was the day.
I was looking at the illustrations of a certain book ("Dancing to Freedom," with illustrations by Anne Spudvilas. Beautiful), when I heard a small, mouse-like noise to my left. I turned and saw a small boy staring at me, all wide eyed. I have him a polite smile, to which he responded with a classic look of terror at being discovered and scurried off to the back of the room where his mom and brother were. I went back to my book.
I'm sort of used to being met with looks of panic on these trips. Being 6' 5" with "crazy eyebrows" (quote from kid in past bookstore trip) in picture book sections tends to attract some weird looks. Interestingly enough, most panic looks aren't from the kids. It's from their parents.
Now, I totally respect the whole protective parent thing. Good parents are hard to come by. But seriously, I don't think I really give off the crazy vibe (apart from the eyebrows, apparently).
One of my favorite stories takes place during a trip to Barnes and Noble. I was looking through the award winner picture books when someone spoke.
"Ah-herm," someone said insistently.
Someone turned out to be a middle aged looking woman with a look of contained suspicion on her face. Behind here, looking at other picture books, was a young girl I could only assume was her daughter. She was ingnoring the both of us fantastically.
"May I help you?" the woman said.
I looked for her name tag. It wasn't there. Definatley not an employee.
"Um, no, thank you," I said.
"You're in the kid's section," She said, a tad aburptly.
"Yeah," I replied, a little confused as to what was going on. "I'm looking for some new picture books."
"You got a kid?"
At this point she just stared at me, waiting for me to elaborate. I decided she wasn't wanting an explanation about my childless-ness. I explained I wanted to be an illustrator, at which she gave me a very skeptical look. It took a little convincing (I had to show her my sketchbook), but at last she went back to protecting her cub. I tried to go back to my purusing, but could feel the angry momma-bears glare boring into the back of my head. I took a lap around the bookstore and waited for her to move on. She did. And I got a new book. Yay.
Anyway, for actual news, my website if finally done! Check it out folks, tell me what you think. ethanaldridge.weebly.com