Wednesday, October 9, 2013

BREAKFAST WITH THE AUTHORS, Santa Barbara, CA

Last Saturday, October 5th, I had the pleasure of participating in the 61st annual Breakfast With the Authors in Santa Barbara, California.  It was a morning of delicious food, good conversation with teachers, librarians, authors, illustrators, and children’s book lovers of all kinds, plus a panel discussion about the impact of the new Core Curriculum, which was followed by short presentations by the authors, all in beautiful Santa Barbara.  There were twelve other authors besides myself and we each had three minutes to update the audience on our latest work and to give our views on the Core Curriculum.  I love hearing what other authors and illustrators are doing and I’m always amazed how we each manage to get so much into our allotted time. The panel discussion of the of the Core Curriculum, expertly moderated by Matt Zuchowicz from the County Education Office, included Barbara La Corte, principal at Hope Elementary School in Santa Barbara, who has hands on experience in putting the new program in place at her school; me, representing the author’s point of view; and Erin Frazer, buyer at Chaucer’s book store in Santa Barbara, who commented how the Core Curriculum is affecting her business. After the initial discussion, an open mic forum allowed people in the audience to express their points of view.  I felt honored to be part of the panel–I learned a lot in preparing! I’ll put my thoughts in a future blog.

I have attended in the Breakfast With the Authors many times in the past.  I believe the first time I came was in 1981, when I was a new author and one of my new books was Animals That Migrate.  The last time I came was in 1999.  It was great to be back!  Thank you Rose Koller, Matt Zuchowicz, Fred Borchers, and all the staff at the Santa Barbara County Education Office for putting on another great event!  Hurray for children’s books and reading!

The authors and illustrators who were there:  Caroline Arnold, Susan Casey, Tina Nichols Coury, Joan Bransfield Graham, Carol Heyer, Valerie Hobbs, Sarah Lynn, Michelle Markel, James Mihaley, Karen Lee Stevens, Greg Trine, Lee Warlaw and Eugene Yelchin.

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