Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Newburyport Literary Festival
I know I promised the second half of this post, with the finished jacket painting but I am scrambling to get ready for a trip and will have to post the conclusion upon my return!
In place of that I thought I'd give the skinny on the Newburyport Literary Festival I attended this weekend. If you get the chance to go next year its a lot of fun. The children's part of the event is organized by the Child at Heart gallery, a children's book art gallery that sells books, prints and original art (they have prints of one of my favorite books ever Higglety Pigglety Pop). They run children's programs all day at the local Montessori school, with authors giving presentations for preschool through middle school. I love sitting in on other author's talks, its interesting how everyone does this kind of thing differently, and I'm always looking for little things to add to my own talk.
I went early in the day (I read books, did a short presentation and art activity- we made nuudle flowers from the Purple Ribbon garden), so by the time I was finished I had the whole day to go to other author's talks. First I sat in on Matt Tavares, who spoke about his gorgeous new book Lady Liberty. It was fascinating to hear about the research process and the history around the building of the statue. He also took on the very ambitious job of drawing a portrait of a kid in the audience which kept everyone rapt. Amazing!
Next I went to hear Lauren Weinstein talk about her new graphic novel Girl Stories. It was really refreshing to hear about her work, since I know nothing about the world of comics. I brought home her book that night and cracked it open, intending to skim, instead I read the whole thing cover to cover! It so perfectly captures that time in middle school when you are on the verge of adolescence. I instantly flashed back to that time and realized what a complicated, thrilling, crazy time of life that is.
Back to the festival... next I got to hear my friend Mary Newell DePalma talk about her book A Grand Old Tree, which I love. She talked about what it was like to turn a tree into a character and how growing up in a family with seven kids (!) gives her ideas for books. I had that warm feeling you get as a kid when you are read to as I sat in the audience, and from the looks of it the kids felt the same way.
There were other events through out the day but those were the highlights for me... it was great getting out of the city and wandering around cute Newburyport as well!