Decatur Book Festival August 30

Well, I’ve spent a very hot day in Decatur at the Decatur Book Festival, but it was well worth it.  The day kicked off with Madeline and the Cats of Rome.  This is the first Madeline book in 50 years.  The author, the grandson of the  original author, read the book aloud and answered questions from the crowd. 

Next, we heard from Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda.  I’ve met Robert Sabuda before, but it was such a treat to see both of these pop-up masters working together.  They demonstrated how to make some simple pop-ups and really demonstrated how 2 people who work so closely together can also think so differently.  I stood in line in the blazing-hot sun for 45 minutes to get my Dinosaur and Fairy pop-up books authographed, but it was well worth it.

Next, Rob Scotton shared his Russell the Sheep books and his latest book, Splat the Cat.  He read through both books and pointed out the many details in the illustrations.  It just reminded me of how important the illustrations are in a story.  Sometimes I go too fast and miss some of the details that illustrators like to hide in the pictures.  Students are usually better at seeing the details than adults, though!

Sarah Prineas shared her book, The Magic Thief.  This book is getting rave reviews by fans of Harry Potter.  One of the neatest aspects of this book is that she had to invent a whole new language that is used in the book to give clues to the reader.  A key is located in the back of the book to help decode the language.  When she signed my copy, she left me a message in this code and I had to decode it when I got home.

The last author of the day was Tony DiTerlizzi.  He is the illustrator/collaborator of the Spiderwick Chronicles, but he was promoting his new book, Kenny and the Dragon.  He was an amazing speaker.  His humor and high energy really kept the crowd going and he showed off both his storytelling and artistic skills for the audience.  He autographed my personal Spiderwick books, The Spider and the Fly, and Kenny and the Dragon.

I’m going back tomorrow for more.  Mrs. Plemmons is very excited about meeting Patrick McDonnell, author of Mutts Comics.  I will also get to hear from Doreen Cronin and Deborah Wiles.  There are also many great vendors.  I’m trying not to spend too much money, but I keep finding things that I just “have to have”.  Check out the pics from today.

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