Saturday, October 4, 2008

Leo Politi 1908-2008 Centennial

While looking at the book bingo list Melissa gave us at Thursday's meeting I noticed several boxes I wanted to put my green dot in - Read a picture book published before 1958; Reread a picture book from your childhood and Read a Caldecott. I thought of the author Leo Politi born in 1908. I have a personal story to tell about him back in the "olden" days in the 1970's. I went to a Chinese restaurant with relatives in downtown Los Angeles called Sam Dam Noodle House (really!.) Sitting at the counter was an older man in a rumpled brown suit with a sketch pad drawing a picture of the little Hispanic boy sitting next to him. I was curious and since it was a very small eatery I could see him sign his name -Leo Politi. He tore the drawing from the pad, handed it to the little boy, finished his tea and left. I hadn't been out of college very long and remembered studying Leo Politi in Children's literature. I was surprised and wondered if the Hispanic family knew who he was. Anyway, I reread Song of the Swallows (1950 Caldecott winner) and then looked Leo Politi up on the internet. 2008 is Leo Politi Centennial We only own two of his titles . I filled in three boxes with one book - Does that count Melissa? (: (It could also qualify as a bilingual picture book I think.)


Jill Corrente said...

Very cool, Dee!! Thanks for the tip. I think I'll use Leo as our next featured author on Tales' Treehouse. The picture on his site,, looks like it could be him sitting at the counter of Sam Dam Noodle. Maybe you were in the background!

Elisabeth said...

Great story! Thanks for sharing it with us!

Allison said...

That is a great story Dee! Too bad you didn't introduce yourself and get his autograph!

Melissa said...

Dee, how fun to have a "brush with fame" like this.

You also made me laugh out loud with your comment that one book filled in three squares. I think it's very enterprising of you to notice that!

Just for the record, this exercise is to help STRETCH your reading, so everyone, try to read one book per square, ok? :)

Amie said...

That is so cool! Im pretty sure the night after reading this very interesting story I dreamt I was talking to Laura ingalls Wilder! ha.
What a cool thing to have seen.