Sunday, November 11, 2012
Memories With Mem
Many years ago when I began realizing my passion for children's literature, my mom bought me the first picture book I received as an adult: Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox, with soft illustrations that add so wonderfully to the story's appeal by Julie Vivas. It is about a boy with four names who was familiar with the old people who lived in the home next door. Each of his friends has a distinguishing characteristic or passion, like Mrs. Jordan's organ-playing. His favorite, though, was a lovely lady named Miss Nancy Alison Delacourt Cooper, and after her overheard his parents talking about how Miss Nancy had lost her memory, Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge asks his other friends to define memories. I have read it so many times - and shared it with so many classes - the text is ingrained in my memory.
Tonight Mem Fox signed that book that was given to me so many years ago. Along with talented Lauren Stringer (who illustrated Mem's latest book Tell Me About Your Day Today and recently was named a McKnight Fellow), Mem was honored at a gathering of dozens of Minnesota authors and illustrators. Tomorrow night she will deliver the Book Week lecture at the University of Minnesota.