Wednesday, November 14, 2012

2012 UCONN Children's Book Fair!

Our Saturday post is on Sunday this week! Yesterday, we were lucky enough to attend the UCONN Children's Book Fair. It was awesome, and we were excited to meet some really amazing authors and illustrators.

Monday's Riddle set us on course for the New World, and Lizzy's review of Blood on the River: 1607 James Town by Elisa Carbone took us back into the scene. We told you about a couple of our favorite stories regarding the early settlers and Native Americans on Top of the Heap. And Friday, Matthew Cody came by to chat about his middle grade book Powerless- and, there's still time to enter the book giveaway for a signed copy of Powerless- this giveaway runs until Sunday, November 25th!

UCONN Children's Book Fair 2012: Walking into worlds of stories...
Listening to the authors and illustrators speak about their experiences was really inspiring, and hearing about how their worlds opened up to their dreams was fascinating.

Next Sunday, we will be featuring some of the other wonderful authors we were able to meet, including Jerry Spinelli and Leslea Newman, so be sure to check back!

Barbara McClintock
Barbara McClintock told us about how, when she was nineteen and wanted nothing more than to be a children's illustrator, she called up Maurice Sendak to ask his advice. At the time, she lived in a very small town in North Dakota and had no idea how to go about becoming an illustrator. She dialed up Maurice, who lived in Connecticut, and asked him what she should do. How brave! His advice to her was to move to New York and start bringing her portfolio around to art directors. So, she did! Talk about embarking upon a new world! She took only a few possessions and went into the city. Once there, she piled all of her work into a basket and started knocking on the doors of art directors. After awhile, people started to recognize her as the basket lady, and she found some interest in her work. The rest is, of course, history!

Leave Your Sleep

Bryan Collier spoke about his life growing up with his brothers, and how all he wanted was to be a basketball player. Until, one day, he found himself in an art class and realized that that was his purpose. He moved into his grandmother's house and worked on his art projects. While living there, he noticed that she made these beautiful quilts that had landscapes and pictures sewn into them. He didn't understand why he wanted to make the art that he was doing- it just felt right. He moved away from his family and embarked upon the adventure of finding someone who wanted to work with him. Bryan said that he went one day a week for seven years knocking on doors, until someone answered. Again, the rest is history.

Stephanie Robinson & Bryan Collier
Bryan spoke about the book, Dave the Potter by Laban Carrik Hill, which he did the illustrations for. Dave was a slave that lived 200 years ago and made over 40,000 clay pots. What was so special about Dave? He wrote poems on the pots that he crafted, signed and dated them- which, at the time, was forbidden and could have cost him his life.

Bryan spoke about the "silent gift" that was passed on to him by his grandmother, and talked about how these "silent gifts" are the foundations of how we craft our own worlds, and navigate towards the new worlds that are out there, just waiting for us to explore!

Dave the Potter

The DMS wants to know: What new world would you like to settle into? 

We'll tell you ours, if you tell us yours! 

Here are a few shots of these artists at work : ) 

Barbara McClintock sketches Top Cat
Bryan Collier talks about his art- Original piece from the book Barack Obama

This Hedgehog is for you Petty : )

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