Last week, at the Minnesota State Fair (the most attended state fair in the U.S.), I was so honored to have If You Were the Moon as the featured book for Read + Ride Day. MELSA (the coalition of Twin Cities metro area libraries) hosted a big tent full of wonderful book-related activities, including several kids’ activities related to my book. Outside the tent, the spreads of my book had been blown up and printed on big lawn signs. People walked through them and read the book–and if they found all the answers to the scavenger hunt, they got a cool glow-in-the-dark pencil! Kathleen James of MELSA did such a lovely job of organizing my participation, and all the awesome librarians there made it a delightful place to be! And Amy Baum of Mackin Books kept me company and shared her book knowledge and book love with people. Here are some photos from the day.
Most of the time, these events are stressful to me. You worry about selling books or standing there awkwardly (or I do, anyway). And often not much prep has been done. None of that was a worry on Read + Ride Day! And I went in with a very clear intention. Have fun with my husband/event photographer, Randy, in the morning. (Usually he’s on IT duty, but that day, he was on photography duty.) Enjoy 2 hours of Meet the Author time and focus on connecting with the people I spoke with.
It was terrific. I got to talk with kids about their favorite books, from Harry Potter to the Notebooks of Doom series. I got to talk about art and challenging yourself and making art for the sole purpose of creating, sharing photos of watercolor sketches back and forth with one painter (she could actually paint, but she was very kind about my brand new efforts). I admired–with many others–the book’s beautiful art (Jaime Kim) and design (Danielle Carnito of Lerner). I chatted with an old drum corps friend who came by with his granddaughter, plus teachers, kids, and grown-ups with no kids in tow who just love books. It was the best event of this kind I’ve ever done.
And on top of that, Randy and I got to watch a 4H skit (hysterical), look at tons of amazing arts and crafts and inventions (and quilts, which made Mom very much on my mind that day), and eat lots of good food (gorgonzola fritters–uh huh!).
I clearly had an excellent day, and I’m grateful. For more Slice of Life posts, head over to Two Writing Teachers for links!