When adults hear that I’ve written a nonfiction picture book about glitter (Glitter Everywhere! Where It Came From, Where It’s Found & Where It’s Going), I’ve noticed a couple of common responses:
* They’ll (perhaps unwittingly) quote or paraphrase a one-line joke by comedian Demetri Martin about glitter possessing a unique permanence compared to other art supplies. I wouldn’t say that it’s Not Safe for Work, but it’s at least Not Advised for an Elementary School — though I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before I hear it in that very setting.
* They’ll bring up a supposed conspiracy to keep under wraps the identities of the leading industrial buyers of glitter.
I think I’ve said all I have to say about that first frequent response.
As for the second, I do love that the conspiracy theory resulted from the same December 21, 2018, article in The New York Times (“What Is Glitter? A strange journey to the glitter factory,” by Caity Weaver) that prompted Charlesbridge Publishing’s suggestion that I write a nonfiction picture book about glitter.
But if I sound skeptical about there being a conspiracy, that’s because I am.
Between that 2018 Times article and my own experience getting near-zero levels of information from leading glitter manufacturers Meadowbrook Inventions and Glitterex beyond what’s on their websites, all I see are two competitors located 32 miles from each other (in the New Jersey towns of Bernardsville and Cranford, respectively) who perceive nothing to gain by saying anything they don’t have to. And so they tend not to.
Though maybe that’s just what they want me to get you to believe.
Anyway, neither of those common responses is addressed, acknowledged, or even hinted at in Glitter Everywhere! (unless mentions of static electricity and speedboats count as hints), but there’s plenty of other fascinating fuel for keeping the conversation going the next time someone mentions glitter…