When I was a little girl, I would have crawled on broken glass to the nearest bookstore or library or hole-in-the-wall whereverland if there was an author signing books. I lived way out in the country where the nearest thing to civilization was the ice cream parlour/burger joint at a major intersection just a stone's throw from the egg farmer. But I would have done it.
|My pilgrimage to Green Gables. The best I could manage at the time.|
I remember my mom bringing home Dennis Lee's Alligator Pie when it came out, and Gordon Korman's MacDonald Hall series (Whoa! He wasn't a whole lot older than I was! And the books were set in Stouffville, just a bit beyond the egg farmer's place!), and Jean Little, of course. But the notion that I might actually meet any of these people? Nah. Never going to happen.
Today, however, many children in Canada have so many opportunities to meet authors and illustrators either online or in person at schools, libraries, and bookstores. Lucky kids! I've been to a fair number of events over the past few years, and the best ones have lots of young readers there - little ones responding enthusiastically to the stories and asking lots of questions, or teens chatting oh-so-casually with the author about dirt bikes or journaling.
|With Gordon Korman (30 years later). I sent this one to my mom within about ten seconds.|
My 10-year-old self would have been beside herself if she could have had access to these sorts of opportunities. I think my head would have exploded if I could have met Jean Little when I first read From Anna.
|Whee! Bookish types know how to have fun!|
Chances are it won't cost a thing to participate in the event (though you'll probably be eager to buy the book after you hear all about it!). Bribe your reluctant readers with the inevitable free juice and cookies. If it's a Fitzhenry & Whiteside launch, I promise that there will be cake.
|See? Told you there'd be cake! (A "novel" idea.)|
And there will be at least one author - maybe an illustrator. Maybe more than one of each. Readers (children, teens, and adults alike) can hear a story, ask questions, get to know what went into making that particular book. They can meet other people who also really like the book and/or the author and/or the illustrator. Or maybe they will simply meet people who are fans of books in general and are there for the bonus cookies and cake. And somewhere between the apple juice and the autographs, a few on-the-fence readers might take more of an interest in reading a great new Canadian children's book. How could you NOT want to make that happen?
|Presenting Gabby at Story Planet & Intergalactic Travel Authority|
But fair warning - it might also make an avid book-loving kid's head explode. And that will be SO worth it.