Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Coolest Introverts in Children's Literature

Some of you may have heard about a certain blogging librarian who is compiling a list of the “Hottest Men in Children's Literature”. As a huge fan of lists, the whole concept immediately appealed to me. And it got me thinking about introverts, one of my favorite topics of contemplation.

Our Shrinking Violet site seems like the perfect place to start both a list and showcase for some seriously noteworthy introverts. But, “Hottest Introverts” didn't quite seem to nail the appeal and essence of our type.

“Hot” is a look. Case in point. I was walking in Brentwood last night and saw Jimmy Smits. Up close. (In a beauty supply store, for god's sake). Now, he is H-O-T! “ You can see it and touch it. “Cool”, on the other hand, wells up from the inside. You just can't get it from hair product or Abercrombie and Fitch.

So Robin and I are starting our own list-- right now. This very moment. And, you were here from the very beginning. Wow. We'll all reminisce about this one day-- I feel sure of it.

[Music fades in, then swells ] Spot number ONE on our list of “The Coolest Introverts in Children's Literature” goes to Cynthia Rylant, author of more than 100 books, most for children. Hands down. The spot is hers. [Loud cheering and hooting here]

Her very first book out the chute, When I was Young in the Mountains, won a Caldecott Honor Book and ALA Notable Book. A Fine White Dust was a Newberry Honor Book, ALA Notable Book and Best Book for Young Adults. And, in 1993 her Missing May won the Newberry Medal. The girl has got some hardware.

Cynthia lives in Oregon, allegedly does all her writing by hand, likes to bake her own bread, and and almost never grants recorded interviews. She loves writing, quiet walks, and being with her animals. She really digs going to the movies in the afternoons and eating popcorn and chocolate. Together. That so works for me. I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume she is an introvert, and if she is not, I'm officially granting her honorary privilges.

Cynthia Rylant is not just cool, she's classic cool.

(Pictured: Cynthia and her dog, Martha Jane)


Barbara O'Connor said...

Cynthia Rylant ROCKS and is so totally deserving of this award. I second your nomination BIG TIME. I adore her. AND - get this, I once sent her a copy of a book of mine with a note telling her how much she inspired me and my work - and SHE WROTE ME BACK. A handwritten note - which, of course, is in my scrapbook and better than a note from Elvis.

I want to be as introverted as HER. :-)

Mary Hershey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Hershey said...

Hi, Barbara!

Thanks for your post and I'm glad to have you second the nomination. And, how very, very cool that she sent you a handwritten note. Oh, yeah, "she rocks" is right! Do you think she'd let us go to the movies with her sometime??

Mary Hershey

Barbara O'Connor said...

Yeah, I think she'd let us go to the movies with her if we bought her popcorn and chocolate. Sisterhood of the introverts!