The annual Children's Festival of Reading in my city was an amazing experience. Between recovering from serious sunburns from standing in the sun for 6 straight hours and getting my house finally repaired after last year's storms, I didn't get a chance to post a blog about the festival last week like I wanted, so I'm doing it today. Below are some of the few pictures I was able to take while standing in front of my booth. There were so many people roaming around that I never even got a chance for a potty break much less water break, lunch break, or a chance to visit the other booths. Everyone was excited about all the autographed items I had at my booth and word must have spread about my goodies because a lot of people came to the festival specifically looking for us!
Here's my booth at 7:30 Saturday morning. I was still trying to set up when I stopped long enough to take a picture.
I created posters where I had printed off the book cover of every author who participated and wrote their names on stars next to their books because to me, THEY were the stars of the day! I also had a basket full of cards and handouts that authors had sent me for the kiddies, along with bookmarks they could color and take with them.
At one point there were different dragons strolling through the grounds right before the parade and this fellow was the longest.
More dragons wandered in and was followed by Biscuit the dog as part of the parade of books.
More dragons but a red one this time. The kids sure did love those dragons!
At the storyteller's tent, authors like internationally known Diane De Las Casas entertained the crowd with her stories.
Biscuit and author Alyssa Capucilli read about his adventures to the crowd.
Melissa Thompson talks about her Keena Ford book series.
I didn't have time to chase down the people on stilts in order to get a picture of their faces...boy, could they travel great distances on those things!
These next two photos were taken right around 10 am when the festival was just getting started. Within a short time you couldn't turn around without bumping into someone...lol...
The tent in this picture with the balloon roof had to be one of the most popular booths at the festival. It was a "petz 4 sale" booth where you could buy mylar balloons of different animals like frogs, giraffes, dogs, cats, dinosaurs, etc. with crinkled legs and weighted feet so that as you pulled the string attached to the balloon, it actually looked like the animal was walking along with you. So cool!
This was Dolly Parton's Playhouse performance of Otis on the performance stage. This stage was across the field from me but the place was packed and you could hear the laughter drifting across the field in my direction.
I had to take a picture of this book by Susanna Leonard Hill. For the younger visitors who stopped by my booth, THIS book caused such a stir with some of the kids that one little boy actually grabbed it off the table despite my and his mother's request for him not to touch it. We both literally had to wrestle it out of his hands and he was very upset because he REALLY wanted to take that book home with him!
Thanks again to all the wonderful authors who went out of their way with their generous donations! I am still getting in touch with all the winners to make sure everyone gets their prizes...all 350 of them! If you want to read more about the festival, here is the link to our city's newpaper coverage of the event...
All I can say is I can't wait until next year and I hope to get the word out even sooner so that I can help promote even MORE authors next year!!