The scene was a family Christmas party, and the child was my wife’s cousin’s grandson K, a self-possessed two-year-old with charm and poise to spare.
I brought my one and only, unbound advance copy of The Day-Glo Brothers to show off, and K’s grandma had just begun perusing its daylight-fluorescent pages when they caught the little guy’s eye.
He wanted that book.
He did not want that book shown to him. He did not want it read to him. He wanted possession of it. And perhaps sensing a certain unspoken twitchiness coming from my direction (my only copy), his grandmother was not going to let him have it.
So, K freaked out. He melted down. He lost it. And all the while I was thinking, “Man, I wish I was getting video of this.”
Wouldn’t that make an excellent promotional clip demonstrating to parents and grandparents why it’s in everybody’s best interest to make sure all the young readers in their life have their own copies of The Day-Glo Brothers? Well, wouldn’t it?
No? Well, no matter. K got over it, and he got a better deal anyway when he went home from the Christmas party with a copy of Mocking Birdies. In hardback. With no nervous author looking over his shoulder.