Pulling My Characters Together
In less than two months two of my books — my first since 2015 — will launch. In past years I’ve organized Lego book launches for my own and others’ books as well as presenting at an in person launch party for Surviving Santiago. I had hoped that this year in person launch parties would return, but alas, Covid-19 had other plans for us. I know that both She Persisted: Temple Grandin and Moonwalking will have virtual “book birthday parties” but I don’t yet have details. Stay tuned to this space for when I hear more!
In the meantime, I’ve already created a Lego minifigure for JJ and placed him in Little Brick Township’s park. The township does not lack for skilled and enthusiastic musicians, from Patricio’s mournful ballads to the upbeat country rock of Mumfield & Daughters. We have hip hop DJs, and with Adam V’s arrival a reinvigorated punk rock scene. Most of the town’s musicians have performed in the park at one time or another.
But with all my attention to Moonwalking this spring, would the Temple Grandin biography slip through the cracks? The answer is no. Dr. Grandin has a minifigure already as one of the townships beloved Bricksters, and the arrival of bright pink pigs at the Lego Store’s Build-a-Minifigure station has given her a few critters to work with already. The new pigs have joined those with an older color scheme in my new vignette to accompany the launch of She Persisted: Temple Grandin.
In a few months, this renowned scientist and autism advocate will have additional animals to work with. Lego has announced the release of three farm sets this summer. While none of them will feature the coveted goat (only available in a 2011 medieval village set and now worth more than $100 on the resale market), rumor has it there will be chickens, sheep, pigs, and cows along with their offspring. If any of them experience difficulties, I can call in my Temple Grandin minifigure to consult with the farm owners on how to make their facilities less stressful for their animals.
In the meantime, I’ve volunteered to help my friend Kathy Z. Price for the launch of her picture book Mardi Gras Almost Didn’t Come This Year. With vibrant illustrations by Carl Joe Williams, the story portrays two children in a family that lost their home after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. They worry about their future but also about the rituals of their city, for they don’t know whether the devastated community will be able to organize the Mardi Gras festivities a scant six months after the devastating storm, and whether they family will be able to participate. The book has already received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. I haven’t finished my work on the vignette, but I’m using elements from the cake topper I made for the wedding of my daughter’s friend, which will take place in New Orleans next month. The brick-built trumpet is the centerpiece of the book launch vignette, as it’s larger than the young protagonist who dreams of playing the trumpet in the parade. I look forward to the launch of this joyful book and being a part of it, giving it a Lego spin!