Last month my mom and I went to the opening of Brian Selznick’s “Wonderstruck in the Panorama” at the Queens Museum of Art. It was an incredible exhibit with a great talk from Mr. Selznick about the time spent studying and capturing the Panorama, a huge presence in Wonderstruck. And I was thrilled to go, I’ve sponsored buildings on that Panorama through the museum.
What was so fantastic about the talk was the fact that Brian Selznick (with an ASL translator) actually stood on the Panorama to speak. Seeing slides of his drawings of the Panorama from the book while he was standing on the Panorama was cool squared.
I actually avoided posting about this amazing event for weeks because after the talk Mr. Selznick signed copies of his books. And I had a miserable experience in the signing line, which at the time ruined the whole day for me. I’ve been trying to get books signed by Brian Selznick for a while now, and I bought copies of The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck in the QMA store to show support for the exhibit and for him. The line was just full of extremely pushy families from a nearby school, and we were getting different messages from the staff depending on where in line we were. I got in line for the signing quickly and was near the front; it was on the narrow walkway above the Panorama, and standing in a hot, narrow signing line for hours is not that fun for a pregnant lady–I wanted to be close to the front. But there was so much cutting, shoving, smothering, and generally rude behavior from these parents that I was still in line for more than an hour. I lost count of how many times I was elbowed and shoved in the belly by kids running through the line. The museum staff even let people cut in front of me while I was next in line in front of Mr. Selznick. It was horribly disorganized, and I left feeling hot, sick, and frustrated at the whole experience. I actually had a sore throat by the time I left and spent the end of that same week in bed sick.
So it left a bad taste in my mouth for what was actually a pretty amazing day. Time heals all wounds, etc. etc., and now I’m just really excited that Brian Selznick signed copies of those 2 books for The Sprout. Perfect additions to her library. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get Mr. Selznick to tell me where his next novel takes place (my 3rd graders wanted to know). And I probably won’t be back to the QMA again.