Once I tweeted "Does anyone else feel like they're just killing time on Sunday until Peter posts the Sunday Brunch?" And I know at least a few people felt the same way, because they retweeted it.
The loss of Peter D. Sieruta is a tremendous one, especially for his family, whom he mentioned frequently on his blog, but felt by many who never met him.
The influence of Collecting Children's Books on this blog can't be overstated. I wanted nothing but to be a pale cousin of Peter's blog. He wrote lovely, long posts without a hint of self-advertisement--or ANYTHING-advertisement, except the love of reading. It was always clear that his blog was just for reading and discussing books; he never tried to sell anything or convince anyone of anything. If he ever had any goals about "monetization" or increasing readership, it didn't show. Peter shared with the Six Boxes sisters a deep interest in the oldest books and the newest books. Like us, he seemed less interested in writing reviews and most interested in discussion of books in general, as well as in the little oddities that made his blog a frequent topic of conversation between us, when we wondered either "how can that be?" or "how can we not have known that?" We are greatly looking forward to his book, written with Betsy and Jules.
Peter knew a lot, but he was also quick to research any question that came up. It's hard to imagine going into Newbery Season without Peter here to answer questions about "would this be the first Newbery winner that---" and "has there ever been a year where---".
Every once in a while, I was able to pounce with glee on some small error or omission about Newbery history or the older books we both loved. Peter was never defensive or at all put out by this; rather than trying to minimize it, more than anything else, he seemed to delight in the new knowledge. This is uncanny in a blogger. It's uncanny in anyone.
I wonder whether Peter was working on a new Sunday Brunch post while he was laid up with his broken ankle. I wonder what he would have posted about--maybe the new movie of Madeleine L'Engle's Camilla Dickinson, which I would have loved discussing with him. I wonder whether he had already read this year's Newbery winner. Even though I know there will be many Newbery winners yet to come that he should have had a chance to read and won't, I have an irrationally sentimental hope that he did get to read the 2012 winner.
This post isn't particularly representative of Peter's work, but it is a delightful one that I have often thought of, with a smile. Do you remember the hat Aretha Franklin wore to President Obama's inauguration? I especially like the Giver wearing The Hat.
Thank you, Peter.