On November 9, Kingston, Ontario authors gathered together for an afternoon event at Chapters. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, but — my goodness — it was a busy day for me. Bobbing between an outlying swimming pool and Kingston’s Chapters — whilst a large family get-together occurred in my home — proved to be exhausting. But hey, when book promotion and exposure beckons, who would dare refuse?
A sizable table boasted stacks of familiar titles by Young Kingston authors Y.S. Lee, Mary Alice Downie, Ann-Maureen Owens, and me. We were joined, too, by acclaimed novelist Leanne Lieberman. Young Kingston member Christine Fader snapped these lovely photos and welcomed shoppers to investigate our books and ask questions. We greeted some friends, met avid readers, signed books, and handed out bookmarks. All in all, it was a fun afternoon. And later, when I got home, there was a delicious meal and decadent desserts awaiting me. Ahh!
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I know I should have blogged this last week, but better late than never, right?
In celebration of Canadian Children’s Book Week, Young Kingston authors are creating a bit of a buzz in the downtown. Kingstonians walking down Princess Street can admire the window display at Novel Idea, Kingston’s independent bookstore.
The window features books by several members of Young Kingston, including Y.S. Lee, Ann-Maureen Owens, Mary Alice Downie, Peggy Collins, Leanne Lieberman, Sarah Ti-Mei Tsiang, and me.
Ehem, Ann-Maureen and I can now add “window dresser” to our resumes! It was an interesting challenge figuring out how to best display the wide array of children’s books represented by our group. With stuffed animal characters from one of Peggy’s beautifully illustrated picture books (Tallula’s Atishoo!), a model of a canoe and Martello tower accompanying The Kids Book of Canadian Exploration and Forts of Canada by Ann-Maureen Owens, Victorian maps of London to showcase Y.S. Lee’s Agency series, and hand-crafted megaphone, spinning plate, juggling balls to feature my Backyard Circus book, the overall effect is upbeat, energetic, and fun.
It is such an honour to see my books in the store window. I am forever grateful to the store owner, Oscar, for giving us this opportunity to celebrate local children’s and young adult books. I’m sure all YK members echo this sentiment. I’d also like to extend thanks to the helpful staff at Novel Idea: Cynthia and Natasha.
I gave a ten-minute talk to pre-schoolers at the Isabel Turner branch of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library on Saturday, May 5. With mismatched socks, polka dot bow tie, and oversized plaid jacket, I read and performed from Backyard Circus. I also read three poems including two new ones that I wrote just for the occasion: “The Kids’ Table ABC and “Night Fears.” Simultaneously, Peggy Collins read at the Central library in Kingston.
On Sunday, May 6 from 1:00 to 5:00 members of Young Kingston chatted with the public, with each other, and were on hand to sign books to patrons. I dressed up Backyard Circus style — why not? — and the afternoon was a lot of fun.
There are still plenty of signed books in the store, so please pop in this week to pick up some very meaningful and beautiful birthday gifts for children and youths. The selection is truly impressive.
This Saturday, May 12 at 10:30 a.m. I’ll be giving another ten-minute talk at the Central branch of the KFPL. Since this is the branch my family frequents, it will be extra special having the opportunity to speak there. Thank you to librarians Sarah Balint and Sarah Macdonald for their efforts in organizing these readings.
One more item to note: the Central branch has created a book display and bulletin board featuring Young Kingston writers’ books, biographies, original artwork by Peggy Collins, newsclippings, and book covers. Another display area includes other picture books by Canadian authors and illustrators. Again, thanks to Sarah and Brenda for creating the displays. What a wonderful way to show off the works of talented Canadians. It’s going to be such a fun week!
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