Big top thanks to Jennifer Salas, uber-librarian at the Blake Library in Stuart, for inviting me to participate in Bookmania (pdf file) last weekend!
This was the second weekend in a row that I participated in a literary event with a Big Top theme. Strange coincidence, but fun.
To begin the Friday night party, Kenny Mikey juggled, while green-haired Riley Roam greeted guests from atop stilts. "Hello, down there!" she said. There were dog acts and people acts and tiny hamburgers and hot dogs served on tiny trays. Cartoons played on the ceiling while people mingled and met the dozens of authors participating in the event.
The celebration honored the late Phil Kavanaugh (Mr. Funnybones), a man who was instrumental in bringing arts and amazing performers to the Blake Library in Stuart and a sense of joy wherever he went. Hubby and I had the pleasure of meeting his lovely wife, Meg, who is working on a new project to involve kids in doing meaningful work to help the environment.
We also met Annie Barrows, the author of the adult book, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and the children's book series, Ivy and Bean.
The next morning launched the main event -- Bookmania (pdf file)!
Authors' talks were so well-received that there was an overflow room with a TV to accommodate the huge number of book lovers in attendance.
Upstairs, Kidsmania took center stage -- a mixture of author talks and performances that had kids cheering. Suzy Hammer, aka The Bookworm, performed magic, told stories and did a fabulous job hosting the day's events.
Marianne Berkes read from her picture book, Over in the Jungle: A Rainforest Rhyme, and let children hear the sounds the animals made in her books.
Jan Day donned cowboy hat and whip and read from her book, Kissimmee Pete and the Hurricane: A Tall Tale.
Here's a photo of Janeen Mason, showing the children how she draws. She then let the young artists create their own masterpieces.
Then I told stories about my childhood that lead me on a crooked path to become a children's book author. After reading a section from my book that features a certain California governor -- Arnold Schwarzenegger, I signed books for the children . . . and a few adults.
Then Riley Roam and Kenny Mikey performed their interactive, audience-participation show, The Great Pizza Contest and signed copies of their new book -- The Great Pizza Contest. Riley's mom, Fyllis Nadler, created the illustrations for the fun new book.
Cathy Supran, second grade teacher at Jupiter Farms Elementary, is a big fan of Page Turner Adventures' school shows. Here's Cathy and baby Thomas with performer Kenny Mikey.
It was an honor to be part of such a wonderful event. If you couldn't make it this year, mark your calendars for next year.
And whether you're clowning around this weekend or not, here's hoping you have loads of fun!