First, just for fun — who could resist this photo op? One Washington D.C. gift shop has a mock-up of the Oval Office where visitors can pose, appearing very presidential. I felt as if I’d just stepped into the cover of my book, If I Were President.
On Sunday, June 27, I had the honor of conducting a book signing at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History for my two presidential themed picture books, If I Were President and If I Ran for President. What a treat to meet people from all over the country! The museum’s impressive collection includes the Inaugural Ball Gowns of our First Ladies, Lincoln’s top hat and the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to compose the poem that became our National Anthem.
The Twig Book Shop, located at 200 E. Grayson St., Suite 124, San Antonio, Texas, will host an upcoming book signing event with local children’s author Catherine Stier.
On Saturday, July 3, 2010 from 10 a.m. – noon, to commemorate the Independence Day holiday, Catherine Stier will sign her two patriotic and presidential themed books, If I Were President and If I Ran for President, as well as her new ‘tween novel, The Terrible Secrets of the Tell-All Club.
The Terrible Secrets of the Tell-All Club was named a “Teacher’s Picks” by Scholastic INSTRUCTOR Magazine. Kirkus Reviews stated that the book “…deftly addresses the high interest topics for fledgling teens…such as peer pressure, handling bullies and the true nature of friendship.”
The event takes place near the lively outdoor Farmer’s Market at the Pearl Brewery.
For more information, visit the The Twig Book Shop at thetwig.indiebound.com or phone (210) 826-6411.
Thank you to the students and staff at St. Gregory the Great Catholic School in San Antonio, Texas! I was welcomed as a Guest Author not once but twice — for an April 27th school visit and again at their amazing May 5th Family Literacy Night.
During April’s morning school visit, the students showed such enthusiasm and warmth! Two students at each presentation played the role of presidential candidates and offered their ideas about the issues they would address to the American people. And two more students presented amazing performances as the President of the United States. I wonder if there was a future mayor, senator, governor or even president in the audience that day…
And what a treat to be invited to a Family Literacy Night on May 5th, along with two notable and accomplished San Antonio authors, Diane Gonzales Bertrand and Lupe Ruiz-Flores. I also met San Antonio’s own Book Fairy, who enchanted the crowd and encouraged an appreciation of stories and books. Two book store staff members and a San Antonio librarian shared information on their summer reading programs, too.
Finally, some students drew pictures on activity sheets, illustrating their imaginative ideas of what they would do if they were president.
It was truly an honor to be invited to such fun and inspiring events!
What an amazing experience! The 2010 Texas Library Association Conference held in San Antonio April 14 – 17 brought publishers, authors, illustrators and Texas librarians together at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center — and afforded me two very exciting opportunities.
Librarians and parents graciously shared with me the ways they made use of my books in their classrooms and with their own families. It’s so gratifying to learn that my book Bugs in My Hair?! had helped some children feel better while dealing with a case of lice, or that The Terrible Secrets of the Tell-All Club was read aloud to an attentive and enthusiastic classroom.
I also had the chance to meet other Albert Whitman & Company authors, including Dori Hillestad Butler. In the photo above, we each hold up one our latest titles at the Albert Whitman & Company booth (that’s Dori on the left).
Our chapter’s creative Regional Advisor Heather Powers carried on the elegant library theme, adorning this year’s SCBWI booth with richly textured and colored fabrics draped on tables displaying our members’ published titles.
Throughout our days, we met librarians from all over the state and enjoyed visits from SCBWI members from across Texas and across the country. We were also assisted by SCBWI members from not only our own San Antonio based chapter, but from the Austin, Brazos Valley and Houston chapters as well.
I can offer one BIG reason why children’s authors should consider attending a storytelling festival, such as the one held this month on March 6 at the University of Texas at San Antonio: Much in the art of storytelling can be applied to creating an engaging author school visit.
But that’s not the only reason to attend. More on that later.
Sponsored by the University’s Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching, the Sixth Annual UTSA Storytelling Festival was both free and open to the public — and offered invaluable insights to those who wish to share stories with children.
A dynamic keynote speaker, teacher and storyteller Mary Ann Blue, spoke on connecting cultures through storytelling. Through a lively tale told in both English and Spanish, she showed just how that was done.
The festival also offered attendees a choice of exciting break out sessions that explored subjects such as “Storytelling Basics: A Brief How-To,” “Unique Ways to Get the Kids Storytelling” and “Bringing History Alive Through Storytelling: Connecting Through Emotions” to name a few.
During the half day program, I watched carefully how each speaker engaged the audience, and how the facial movements, gestures and the variances in vocals kept us all attentive and entertained.
Props, rhythmic instruments, pictures and puppets also enhanced some of the tales the storytellers weaved for us. Again, from my seat in the audience, I considered carefully how these elements might add some spunkiness and sparkle to my own author presentations.
Further, I learned about fables, folk stories, fairy tales and myths and how each offered something vital to a particular age group. I will keep these important insights in mind as I craft my own stories for varying audiences.
But finally, it was fun — fun to hear several good, poignant or rib tickling stories, and fun to be drawn by a skilled presenter into another time, another place, another adventure.