I've heard it said that horses sweat, men perspire, and ladies glow.
Well, writers and children's lit students and booksellers and critics and editors do sweat. We do perspire. But we also glow. Male, female, and equine alike, I assume.
You know the glow I'm talking about, or at least, I hope you do. I felt it in my ed major days when we'd occasionally examine a picture book and get to feel like we were little again. I felt it when I discovered Clementine, Black Stars in a White Night Sky, and Marcelo in the Real World, and when I realized that the character who'd come to mind in one of my first Writing I prompts would be the main character of my novel. I felt it when I saw the number of books lining the shelves at The Horn Book and when I got to edit and write flap copy for old and new favorite authors at Houghton Mifflin. I feel it now when I realize a connection I need to make in my current novel was there all along, or when the book I suggest projects the glow onto a customer.
It is possible to feel burnt out on anything, even children's books. A certain legendary project at Simmons involving the analysis of a large number of illustrators made a lot of us at least come close to feeling that way. But any time that's started to happen, something has materialized to bring back the glow. That time, it was picking up The Very Hungry Caterpillar for the first time in a while. It's always something.
I'm thankful for that.