Virginia Law Manning

Love at First Sight

Virginia ManningComment

     Do you believe in love at first sight?

     I do.

     The moment I saw my son Thomas I fell in love. All I could say was, “He’s so cute.” “He’s so cute!” I said it over and over.

     But that day in the hospital wasn’t my first time falling in love. Or my last.

     In September 2013 I fell in love with Greg Pizzoli’s THE WATERMELON SEED. I was at the Princeton Children’s Book Festival when I saw one single copy sitting on display. Sweet googly-eyed Croc and his luscious, salmon-pink slice of watermelon caught my eye and I couldn’t resist.

     Days later I wrote a love letter about my book. I told the author, “It didn’t take many pages for me to become quite attached to your delightfully silly character and captivated by your deceptively simple screenprint illustrations… When an artist can create a book that has a unique point of view and a purpose --whether to humor, to educate or to comfort a child—and is enticing and reader-friendly then this book deserves its place on the shelf and the artist will have earned my respect.”  

     Two years have passed since I wrote that letter, you might wonder if I’ve remained faithful to this love.  

     Hmm… I do still adore THE WATERMELON SEED, but it hasn’t been a monogamous affair. There have been others. Most recently MISTER AND LADY DAY by Amy Novesky and Vanessa Brantley Newtown, VEGETABLES IN UNDERWEAR by Jared Chapman, and WOLFIE THE BUNNY by Ame Dyckman and Zachariah OHora.

     These books give me goosebumps. They make me want to pick up the phone and tell all my friends about their enchanting characters and creative details. They are the last things I want to see before I fall asleep at night. They drive me to be a better illustrator and writer. Most importantly, they inspire me to read.

     I hope you’ve fallen in love. Will you tell me about your crush? I’m a sucker for a good book romance.