The kids all received a back pack with a paperback book and a notebook and pencil. And they learned about braille books, a short history of book-making, printing (with a real printing press), illustration, paper-making. In the session with me we talked about where writers get ideas--from our families ("my grandma came from far away to make her life in Iowa;" "my brother is afraid of snakes"); from what we wish we could do ("fly," "go to Hawaii," "be invisible"). All those ideas could be great stories--and so could the others I heard. As I drove home I decided I can't be pessimistic about the future when I see kids who are so open to discussion, to being engaged, to imagining flying. I hope some of them will spend the weekend reading their new books and writing about flying or invisibility, or an adventure in Adventureland.
When I went to observe the braille book area I learned that five of my books are printed in Braille. And that was a thrill!
|Snowflake Bentley in Braille|
|raised snowflakes in the Braille edition|
Now for some Thanks:
-to DeAnn Thompson of the Des Moines Rotary Club who let me know exactly where I needed to be and when--and who gave me a very cool book-fest t-shirt
-to Richard Early, Executive Director of the Des Moines Symphony, also a Rotary Club member, who drove me to the event and back to my car with stops to check out the Des Moines Public Library's grass roof as well as a Des Moines restaurant--Hoq--which sources 90% of the food used in its meals locally.
|Library's grass roof as seen through a window in the former Masonic temple, home of the DesMoines Symphony.|
I surely hope they will. I'll be thinking of them and rooting for them. And if flying is possible today's Hands On Book Fest will make it more likely.