Sunday, November 13, 2005

Star-Lit: A Children's Literary Festival

My husband, author Greg Leitich Smith, and I had the honor of speaking yesterday at Star-Lit: A Children's Literary Festival benefitting the Dallas Bethlehem Center at the Highland Park United Methodist Church in Dallas.

Other featured authors and/or illustrators were: Newbery winner Christopher Paul Curtis; illustrator Tracy Dockray (originally from Lubbock, now living in NYC); author "Farmer" Ted Dreier; author/illustrator Will Hillenbrand; author Sharon Robinson (daughter of baseball legend Jackie Robinson); author Dee Scallan; author Toni Simmons of Dallas; author Anastasia Suen of Plano; and author G. Clifton Wisler of Plano.

The festivities opened Friday night with a private party for the authors, donors, and volunteers, at the lovely home of one of the donors. Highlights included sparkling company, a Tex-Mex buffet, and a first-rate collection of classic and contemporary children's illustrations. We left with "goodie bags" that were so heavy I had to ask Greg to carry mine.

After a good night's rest at The Adolphus Hotel, the Festival opened with a breakfast with the authors and illustrators, which featured pancakes, eggs, autographing, and a magician.

Greg and I then spoke to three sessions of attendees at the events, autographed even more books, and made sure to purchase at least one book by each of the other speakers.

Because his plane was late getting in Friday night, I only had the opportunity to speak with Chris Curtis briefly, but he graciously purchased signed copies of my Jingle Dancer, illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu (Morrow/HarperCollins, 2000) and Greg's Tofu and T. rex (Little Brown, 2005).

Greg and I would like to send out our special thanks to event planner Jeff S. Morton of Frito-Lay and our gracious author liason Susi Grissom, the librarian at Travis Vanguard and Academy, a magnet school for gifted and talented 4th - 8th grade students in Dallas ISD.

All in all, it was one of my favorite events ever!

Cynsational News & Links

This weekend, I was pleased to learn that Indian Shoes (HarperCollins, 2002) and Rain Is Not My Indian Name (HarperCollins, 2001) both were featured as American Indian Education Program Book Club Titles in the DISD Communicator.

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