Monday, November 15, 2010

Book signings and festivals

Over the past few days, I had the pleasure of participating in two very special book events — a signing at Menchaca Elementary School's Scholastic Book Fair and the Savannah Children's Book festival. I had an absolutely fantastic time at both events, though each one had it's own way of feeding or starving my ego.

Last Thursday evening, I signed books at Menchaca. The librarians there are SO good. They really excited the kids about my book Ron's Big Mission, so much so that it became the hottest seller at the fair. It sold 99 copies and I was honored to be there to sign most of them. Check out the nice display behind the table. I can't thank the librarians enough.

Following that event, I flew to Georgia where I was a featured author-ilustrator in the the 7th annual Savannah Children's Book Festival. This is a top-notch festival, to say the least. More than 30,000 people attended the festival last year, and this year was even bigger. The lineup included included Judy Schachner, “Skippyjon Jones”; Anna Dewdney, “Llama Llama Red Pajama”, in addition to Alan Katz, Brian Jordan, Pat Mora, Vicky Alvear Schecter, Charles R. Smith, others. I was especially excited to meet two very young authors, 9- and 11-year-old Miles and William Rabun, who wrote the book "My Grandma's Backyard." Behind Judy and Anna, they were clearly the most popular authors at the festival.

My book signing (above) was a bit, um, humbling. But that happens sometimes, and I found much humor in the situation.

When I returned, I received this wonderful letter from the mother of an attendee. This made my day and I thank her for sending this along.

Hello Don,
I am the mother of Julia, the little girl with twists you drew at the Savannah Book Festival. She was so honored! This was the first time she wore her hair in twists and you commented on them. She was so shocked! She has told everyone about you and your wonderful illustrations. Her favorite was the illustration with the spoons from The Hidden Feast because of the movement in the swirls. This of course came from your comment about creating movement in a still illustration in the Black All Around book. She is very proud of being a black girl and hearing that story along with the comment on her twists was a high-five to her confidence! Upon returning home she immediately colored your drawing as you had instructed her to do. Her father, as per her request, framed it along with the SBF article of you and it now hangs in her bedroom. So don't worry about the book signing. You signed a little girl's heart that day.
Also from the festival, see me writing on the walls of the Bull Street Library.


Shirley said...

What a great letter to you! It comments on your ability to relate to kids as well as to create literature and art. Thanks for sharing the letter. It's so good to see what effect you have on others and how our works affects its listeners and readers.

Becky Levine said...


Elizabeth O. Dulemba said...

Oh my gosh, what an incredible warm fuzzy! :)

E. Kristin Anderson said...

That letter makes me so happy! I can only imagine how it makes you feel!

Book festivals are so amazing -- I am always happy to hear about great experiences like this!

Jay Asher said...

Thanks for sharing that letter with us, Don. It doesn't get much more beautiful than, "You signed a little girl's heart that day."