Tuesday, October 22, 2019

DIVE INTO BOOKS: Humboldt County Children’s Author Festival 2019

The theme this year at the Humboldt County Children's Author Festival, Eureka, CA, was Dive Into Books
I am just home from the bi-annual Humboldt County Children’s Author Festival in Eureka, California, and it was as fabulous as ever. This was my seventh time to participate, and each time it gets better and better. The theme this year was Dive into Books. A giant octopus welcomed people to the library on the day of the book signing.

With my cut-paper illustrations  at the Morris Graves Museum of Art
The four day festival (October 16-19)  included author visits to schools, a gala banquet, book signing at the library, and an exhibition of children’s book art at the Morris Graves Museum of Art. I had two pieces of original art from my book A Day and Night in the Rain Forest in the exhibit.

The Morris Graves Museum of Art is located in the beautifully restored Carnegie Library building
On the opening day of the festival there is always a welcome reception for the authors and volunteers at the museum--a chance to see the art exhibit, to meet the wonderful volunteers who organize the festival and to mingle with the other authors. This year there were 25 of us!
Display of my books at Jacoby Creek School
Thursday and Friday are devoted to author visits in the schools and I had two wonderful school visits. The first was to Jacoby Creek School (grades K-8.) Librarian Marci Barker had done a great job preparing the students. I spoke to two groups of students in the morning, then had a delicious lunch from the restaurant across the street from the school, and then two presentations after lunch.
Joan Williams, Festival volunteer; Marci Barker, Librarian at Jacoby Creek School; Evelyn Bertell, my driver to the schools.
My driver for both days was Evelyn Bertell, an enthusiastic supporter of the Author Festival and whose children attend Jacoby Creek. On Friday afternoon, after we finished, she took me for a lovely walk at the bird sanctuary in Arcata.
Student performers and Alexis O'Neill, whose book The Recess Queen was one of the stories performed.
Thursday evening at the festival is always a potluck dinner (yummy food provided by the many festival volunteers) followed by a Readers Theater performance by students from the arts high school in Arcata, who did a brilliant presentation, weaving together stories by three of the Festival Authors and a book by Festival Committee member Byrd Lochtie, based on a story her mother told her when she was a child.
With Vicki Childress, teacher at Arcata Christian School
On Friday morning I went to Arcata Christian School where I did three presentations, one to the kindergarteners in their room, one to grades 1-4, and another to grades 5-8. Teacher Vicki Childress coordinated my visit and did a great job, including making a most impressive cake decorated with a large painted lady butterfly. The children in all the classes did artwork and writing projects that filled the walls in the room where I was presenting.
The Ingomar Club where the banquet was held
On Friday evening everyone gathered at the Ingomar Club (the historic Carson mansion) for a gala dinner. Entertainment was from the authors–each of us got three minutes at the podium--a challenge to decide what to say, but everyone always manages to be entertaining and different. Our timekeeper was Shirley Santino--dressed in keeping with the undersea theme.
Shirley Santino with her undersea props
The final event of the Authors Festival is a book signing on Saturday at the beautiful county library. Many thanks to Eureka Books for ordering and supplying all the books! We all wear our festival t-shirts as we chat with visitors and autograph books.
With author Mary Nethery at the book signing at the library
I do many author events but nothing is quite like the Humboldt County Children's Author festival. I can’t give enough thanks to all the people who put so many hours into planning and coordinating all the different moving parts. (The Festival website has a complete list of these amazing people and much more.) You all do a fantastic job! Thank you for making me a part of this unique and wonderful festival!
Theme poster for the festival.

No comments: