Wednesday, February 14, 2018

AUTHOR VISIT at Circle View School, Author Festival, Huntington Beach, CA

Autographing books at the library at the Huntington Beach Author Festival
Tuesday January 30th was the annual Author Festival in Huntington Beach, California. I have been participating in the Huntington Beach Author Festival almost every year since it started in 1989, with a morning visit to an elementary school and an afternoon reception and book sale at the Huntington Beach Library.
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This year I was at Circle View School and spoke to three groups of enthusiastic students, kindergarten through third grade. I thank teachers Jo Marie Costello and Glenda Mooradian for coordinating my visit and Pam Justice in the library for setting up the room and equipment and for my snack "goody bag."
Thanks also to the PTA for a delicious lunch in the teacher’s lounge and for supporting a purchase of books for the library. I always enjoy the chance to chat with teachers and staff at lunch.
After lunch I joined authors who had been visiting other schools for a gala reception at the Huntington Beach library. Volunteers on the festival committee, dressed in red shirts, made sure everything ran smoothly. Students who had won prizes for their stories were honored in the auditorium, with their proud parents and teachers watching in the audience.
This event would not go on year after year except for the hard work and dedication of Gail Page who has led the festival for many years and her hardworking committee of volunteers. Thank you! I always enjoy the chance to share my books with new readers, to see old friends, and to make new ones. 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

YOSEMITE: CSLA Conference 2018--Elevating Learning Through Reflection

Yosemite Valley
I had a great weekend at the California School Library Association conference at Tenaya Lodge just outside Yosemite National Park, presenting with Jeri Ferris and Kathy Krull and hiking and sightseeing in Yosemite Valley with Gretchen Woelfle.
The theme of the conference was Elevating Learning through Reflection. It was great to spend time with school librarians and other authors. Virginia Loh Hagan did a great job keeping all the authors organized and well fed! There were twenty-eight of us!
Lobby of Tenaya Lodge
The author events were all on Saturday and included presentations, panels, autographing, a mix and mingle with librarians, culminating with the Young Reader Medal dinner followed by more autographing.
At book signing after my presentation
With librarian and Jeri Ferris
The California Young Reader Medal was awarded this year to author Mac Barnett and illustrator Jon Klassen for their book Sam and Dave Dig a Hole. Mac Barnett was the featured speaker at the dinner. Jon Klassen couldn’t make the dinner and had sent a video but, unfortunately, technical difficulties prevented it from being heard. Mac compensated by giving a very entertaining and inspiring speech for the both of them. Tables were decorated with charming centerpieces made by students at a nearby school.
Centerpiece: Sam and Dave Dig a Hole
I went to the conference with fellow author Gretchen Woelfle. We went a day early so we could do some sightseeing. We hiked to the Vernal Falls bridge--more uphill than I planned but we both made it. The weather was perfect and the park wasn't crowded. It was truly inspiring and a wonderful addition to the conference.
With Gretchen Woelfle at the tunnel view of Yosemite Valley