Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Smiley Library Family Day!

On October 1st, I was the featured author/illustrator at the Smiley Library Family Day in Redlands, CA. The sun was shining and so were all the families, books, and activities! Opened to the public in 1898, the A.K. Smiley Library is truly one of the most beautiful libraries I have visited. Along with a bountiful collection of books and research materials and a welcoming children's book room, the library features stained glass windows, a private garden, and the Lincoln Memorial Shrine with a remarkable civil war museum. Even Abe Lincoln himself was greeting folks!

Entrance to the Smiley Public Library

It was a day of celebrating reading. As the featured Author/Illustrator, I presented a slide show, starting with a musical slide show of THE PRINCESS AND HER PANTHER, with the author, Wendy Orr, reading the story. Then I told the story of how I write and illustrate books, showing lots of pictures of course, because I love stories with pictures! At the end of my presentation everyone folded an origami frog with a very big mouth that just might whisper a poem or story into the folder's ear.

Abe and me outside the Lincoln Memorial

Craft tables were set up all over the back lawn with activities inspired by some of my picture books. Children made Princess and Panther masks after reading THE PRINCESS AND HER PANTHER. Nests and tide pools were created at the CASTLES, CAVES AND HONEYCOMBS table.

Making animal homes inspired by Castles, Caves, and Honeycombs

And snowflakes flew with glitter and glue despite the heat of the sun. Books inspired everyone's imagination that day. Books are amazing like that! When you read a book called SNOW on a hot, sunny day in California, your skin may get goosebumps and you may find yourself wishing you had a cup of hot chocolate and a pair of mittens to wear!

Snowflakes in California!
I am back in the golden glow of October in Minnesota, but what a warm and welcoming Family Day in California!