Decatur Book Festival Day 2

It was another great day in Decatur (extremely hot, but great).  The day started with Patrick McDonnell, author of Mutts Comics.  We sat up front with our dog, Holiday.  Before Patrick spoke, he noticed Holiday and came over to say “Hello”.  Holiday reminded him of his own dog, Earl, who inspired the Mutts Comic dog.  He gave her a scratch and then began his talk.  During the talk, he looked over at us twice and told the audience how much our dog reminded him of his own dog that passed away in November.  I held Holiday up for everyone to see and they applauded (which she didn’t like!).  Mrs. Plemmons took Holiday to get all of the books autographed and had another photo opportunity with Patrick.  I really liked his book Hug Time and South.  They are wordless, but they tell such wonderful stories that I would love to see them in our media center.

Doreen Cronin, author of Click Clack Moo Cows that Type, was the next speaker up.  She was a great speaker and encouraged all of the kids to always do their best when reading and writing.  She said that everyone has the ability to read and write and that it’s actually harder to not write.  Our brains need to write in order to express what we are thinking. 

Graphic novels are very popular right now in children’s literature, and we’re trying to build this genre of books in our media center.  Today, I met Andy Runton, author of the Owly series.  This series of wordless graphic novels follows an owl named Owly and his friend Wormy.  Through making meaning from the picture panels, readers experience friendship, innocence, kindness, conservation, and many other universal themes.  This is a very pleasant series that I want to see make it into our media center. 

Next, I heard Evelyn Coleman speak about the American Girl Series.  She is the author of Shadows on Society Hill: an Addy Mystery in this popular series.  Other books by her include White Socks Only and Freedom Train.  One thing that I loved about hearing her speak was the fact that she was so welcoming to everyone.  She told the audience to stop by her house near Grant Park sometime and have a glass of lemonade or water (and she was serious).  She left us all with a message to get to know someone that is truly different than each of us.  She said to really get to know the person and find out how we are all connected even if we might seem very different.

Probably my favorite author of the day was Deborah Wiles, author of Each Little Bird that Sings and Love, Ruby Lavender.  She shared how she keeps a notebook with all of her list and thoughts that might inspire a story.  When she finishes reading a book that seems life-changing to her, she writes down how that connects with her life.  Many times this turns into a story for her.  She constantly encouraged the audience to think of what stories we had to tell about our lives and to write them down.  I think I like her so much because she writes the kinds of stories that I also like to write, stories about growing up in the South and the tight bonds of family.  When I had my books signed, I talked to her about how I love to write stories about my grandmother, and I quickly shared some quirky stories with her.  She told me that if I didn’t talk with my grandmother and write down all of those stories that she would be very disappointed in me!  I better not let her down!

This weekend was so much fun, and it inspired me to read more books, share more books, and write more of my own stories.  I wish that each of you could have been there, but I hope that I can at least bring some of my excitement to you in this blog and in our media center.  Take Care.