Friday, September 17, 2010

Recap: 2010 Lititz Kid Lit Festival

I had the most fun this past weekend. As many of you know, I attended the 2010 Lititz Kid Lit Festival hosted by Aaron's Books. It was the second year for the festival, and this year's theme was "Books Open Worlds."

The festival ran from Friday through Sunday, and I was fortunate enough to go both Friday and Saturday. I live an hour away from Aaron's Books, so I wasn't entirely sure that I could manage going both days; however, Booking Daughter almost died when she found out that one of her favorite authors Amy Ignatow was going to be signing books on Friday evening. Amy is the author of the adorable middle grade graphic novel THE POPULARITY PAPERS: RESEARCH FOR THE SOCIAL IMPROVEMENT AND GENERAL BETTERMENT OF LYDIA GOLDBLATT & JULIE GRAHAM-CHANG. Needless to say, I couldn't disappoint her so Booking Son, Booking Daughter, and I made the trek to say "hi" to Amy!

Booking Daughter was absolutely beside herself! Even though she already had a signed copy of the book, Amy added a little cartoon monster. My daughter couldn't stop looking at it! She also re-read the book again over the weekend. Amy and Booking Daughter discussed the book and the characters for quite awhile, and Booking Daughter had some fantastic questions for her. Amy also mentioned that the sequel book will be available this Spring. Booking Daughter and I can't wait to get our hands on a copy of that one!

In addition to seeing Amy,  it was local authors night at Aaron's Books. I managed to pick up some really cute picture book and early reader books for Booking Son. Plus, he had to get a Learn-to-Read Star Wars book!

Isn't this picture of Amy and Booking Daughter adorable?

I was very anxious to head on back to Aaron's on Saturday (although the drive was getting a little old!) There was so much on the schedule for the festival and I was so excited that I felt like a little kid. Booking Daughter and I stopped partway and had a nice little lunch, but we were both in a hurry to visit with some authors. We missed out on the storytime with picture book authors that took place in the morning, but we did arrive in time to see some of the authors at the outdoor book signings. Fortunately, it was the perfect weather day!

We walked from the store to Linden Hall, the oldest preparatory school in the United States for the author panel. This campus was absolutely gorgeous and I was so excited to see how many girls showed up for the panel discussion. The topic was "Diversity in Children's Literature" and it was fantastic. Authors Mitali Perkins, Laurel Snyder and Josh Berk discussed diversity with the audience for an hour and a half. Not only were the authors' comments insightful, but the girls from Linden Hall were super impressive!

Then, we all headed to the General Sutter Inn for the author dinner and silent auction. I couldn't wait for this event because I had the opportunity to talk one-on-one with lots of authors. There were just so many wonderful authors there including Mitali Perkins, Laurel Snyder, Eric Wight, Josh Berk, Cyn Balog, Holly Nicole Hoxter, and A.S. King.

I was happy to see some "old" friends like Josh Berk and A.S. King as well as to meet some new ones. But Booking Daughter was super-excited to see Eric Wight again -- he's the author of the Frankie Pickle books. As if she didn't already love him enough, he actually brought the rough draft sketches of his next book in the series and shared them with Booking Daughter. She was grinning from ear to ear!

After the authors rotated around the tables during the four course meal, Mitali gave the keynote address. Words cannot express how much I love Mitali! I was already pretty impressed with her after hearing her speak at the Children's Author Breakfast at BEA, but she blew me away in so many ways. And Booking Daughter can't stop talking about how great she is too! Not only is she a beautiful writer, but she is truly one of the most special people that I've ever met. She's so smart, articulate, and kind; and she really does seem to genuinely care about everyone. She's got such a beautiful heart!

I have to apologize for not taking more photos. I actually tried to take some of the panel, but the lighting was awful. And then, to be honest, I was so caught up in talking with the authors, that I forgot to take my camera out at the dinner. (Of course, I was also distracted because I kept checking my phone for updates of the Penn State game!)

Anyway, for what it's worth, here's a picture of Booking Daughter with Mitali:

And, here's a photo of Booking Aunt (my sister) with Eric:

I think everyone who attended the 2010 Lititz Kid Lit Festival thought it was a wonderful event! I know Booking Daughter and I certainly did. I can't wait to see what next year brings, and I sincerely hope that many of you will make plans to attend.

Oh yeah! And a huge shout-out to the fine folks at Aaron's Books for hosting such a fantastic festival!


bermudaonion said...

I'm so jealous - you listed so many authors I would love to have seen. I'm like you - after BEA, I'm in awe of Mitali Perkins.

Jenn's Bookshelves said...

What an exciting event! Thanks for the wrap-up post! I'm so glad you, Booking Daughter, & Booking Aunt had a great time!

Beth Hoffman said...

Booking daughter is absolutely beaming! She's so cute.

Beth Kephart said...

I have such fond memories. And to meet Mitali!!!!

Thank you so much for your comment just now. I miss you!