Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Read-a-Palooza Recap

We here at Chez Wheedleton embarked on a most wonderful Read-a-Palooza Weekend, and I have some great pics to share and tales to tell:

So, our book-loving household set off way too early on a non-school day, bleary-eyed but excited, as we drove down Saturday morning for the National Book Festival in Washington, DC. Our first stop was the Children's Tent, where we managed to snare front row seats to hear and see something special: the first installment of The Exquisite Corpse Adventure, which can only be found exclusively on the Read.gov website, with new installments posted every two weeks.

Wait a minute: Corpse? For kids? Yep! From Read.gov:
Ever heard of an Exquisite Corpse? It's not what you might think. An Exquisite Corpse is an old game in which people write a phrase on a sheet of paper, fold it over to conceal part of it and pass it on to the next player to do the same. The game ends when someone finishes the story, which is then read aloud.
Intrigued? Click here to read the very first installment. (But don't forget to come back here - I'm not done yet!)

The event was MC'd by Mary Brigid Barrett (Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out), though I didn't get a good picture of her. But here is the panel that was with her (left to right): Jon Scieszka (Stinky Cheese Man), Megan McDonald (Judy Moody series, Stink series), Steven Kellogg (The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash, The Mysterious Tadpole), Nikki Grimes (Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope), Kate DiCamillo (The Tale of Despereaux, The Tiger Rising), and Shannon Hale (Princess Academy):

Megan McDonald tells part of the tale, as Steven Kellogg illustrates (live onstage!):

From there, I stood in line with Lovely Girl and Handsome Boy for over an hour so Kate DiCamillo could sign their copies of The Tale of Despereaux. (She stayed later than scheduled, to try to get to as many kids as she could.) They were so excited to meet her:

Then my husband C got in another line with the kiddos to wait for Jeff Kinney (Wimpy Kid series) to sign their books, while I wandered the grounds on my own a bit.

Look who I found: Lois Lowry! Speaking! As you can see, I was way way in the back (and this photo is cropped, even), but I could at least hear her, and it was wonderful:

When Ms Lowry finished her talk, I wandered back to the kiddos and C, and still got there in time to see them meet Jeff Kinney. He even took the time to read some of Handsome Boy's writings in Diary of a Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book, before he signed it:

I was hoping to catch Lois Lowry's signing line (and brought my copy of The Giver - one of my favorite Lois Lowry books), but by then the kiddos were pretty well festivaled-out, and it had started to rain (books + rain = oh, crud!), so we called it a day. Besides, we knew she would be in Baltimore on Sunday.

So, Sunday came (yay!) but we got to the Baltimore Book Fest too late and missed seeing Lois Lowry by one teeny hour (boo!) but her website says I can still send my book to her to get it signed (yay!).

And, we did get there in time to hear Liz Kessler speak (yay!) and she signed two of Lovely Girl's Emily Windsnap books (yay!) and she is a very delightful woman:

After that, we walked around, and ate some ice cream, and Handsome Boy met Lyle Crocodile, and Lovely Girl sculpted a wolf out of clay...

...and oh! It was a wonderfully fabulous book-festive weekend.


So, what's on your mind?