Friday, October 16, 2009

Children's Lit Fest!

I love the town that I live in. There are so many opportunities that are educational and allow us to interface with the community. Today we had the opportunity to attend a children's literature festival. Fourteen authors of children's books were brought to town so that they could share their passion with children in grades 4-6. It was promoted mostly within the public schools but my thoughtful librarian gave me information on it and we were allowed to attend. It was so cool. We got to visit with two different authors for an hour each. We chose to attend sessions with Frederick and Patricia McKissack and Cheryl Harness. Patricia McKissack was a soft-spoken yet animated storyteller. She shared with us her very personal inspiration for her stories. She has published approximately 100 books and most of them were inspired by her life experiences. Our family loves her usage of the southern vernacular and our favorite book at this point is "Goin Someplace Special."

Cheryl Harness' presentation was lively and upbeat, as was her personality. In order to grab the attention of her audience she began her presentation with a little harmonica playing.

During her presentation she shared with us the process of getting a book published. She even shared with us original pieces of art. She was generous and engaging. Her sense of humor is evident in her books, even though she is the author/illustrator of books of history. Her books are jam-packed with historical facts and have the most fabulous paintings to go along with them. They would be a perfect accompaniment to any U.S. history curriculum. We love 'Ghosts of the Civil War' and 'The Three Pilgrims."

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