What a fantastic group of people came through the Brooklyn Museum's Rubin Pavilion on Sunday, for the Ninth Annual Children's Book Fair! I got to share a table with superstar middle-grade author, Julie Sternberg. Talented author & illustrator, Aaron Meshon, was at the neighboring table. And the brilliant young girl in a scarf pictured above gave me a book recommendation that went straight to the top of my to-be-read list. Big thanks to all those who organized this wonderful event!
I had such a wonderful time participating in the Warwick Children's Book Festival yesterday! Warwick, NY, is a beautiful little town NW of New York City that holds a big, fantastic children's book event every other year. So many great authors and illustrators attend. I got to talk to some of my favorites in person, and meet others whose work I'm thrilled to discover now. Best for me was seeing so many fabulous kids with a passion for books! Great thanks to the Albert Wisner Public Library and Ye Olde Warwick Book Shoppe for organizing and bringing off such a successful event. And to all the children, parents and book lovers who made the festival come alive!
(Special note to the mother of wonderful SOFIA who purchased JUST A DUCK at the Warwick Fest: on the off-chance you read this, please contact me – there's something I'd like to send you. Wish I'd thought of it earlier, but decided to try here, as it's the only way we might get in touch...)
Hello! This is my first post here, and what better way to inaugurate my new website blog than to highlight a wonderful literacy initiative happening this month? I was thrilled to read about author Michelle Eastman's month-long MARCH-ing Books to Kids campaign, part of her ongoing project, Picture Book Pass it On.
With MARCH-ing Books to Kids, Michelle asks each of us to donate a favorite children's book to The Storybook Project, to help kids of incarcerated parents. Here is how the Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa describes their project:
"The Storybook Project recruits, screens and trains volunteers to work with incarcerated parents and/or grandparents at the Iowa Correctional Institute for Women (ICIW) in Mitchellville, Iowa and the Newton Correctional Release Center (CNRC) in Newton, Iowa. Once per month, volunteers work with the mother, grandmother or father. The parent/grandparent and volunteer choose a book from the Storybook library that is appropriate for the child. The parent or grandparent reads the book while the volunteer records the reading onto a digital voice recorder. The book and CD are mailed to the child."
I applaud all efforts to get more children's books to households in need. And I love that, in doing so, the Storybook Project helps incarcerated parents to let their children know how much they care, at a time when both kids and parents likely need it most. I love to think that this project could even encourage some parents and children to bond over books after release.
So please join me in following Michelle's three calls to action this month:
#1 Pledge to donate a new picture book/s to Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa, Storybook Project. Authors are invited to sign their books. Please include a note stating that your book is part of the Picture Book Pass it On/MARCHing Books to Kids initiative. Books may be mailed to:
VNS of Iowa, Storybook Project
c/o Tabby Kuehl
1111 9th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50314
#2 Post your pledge on the PBPiO Facebook page. Share it on your blog and on social media. Please include our badge and #PBPiO, and #MARCHingBookstoKids
#3 Pass it on. When you post about your pledge, challenge one or more friends to join your #PBPiO giving chain. Encourage them to take the pledge and keep passing it on…
Thank you, Michelle, for your commitment to getting picture books to more kids who need them, and for making me aware of this fantastic project!