This past weekend was my first Texas Book Festival and it was smashing! I did a reading of WIENER WOLF in the Storytime Tent on Saturday and then a “Making Stories With Authors” children’s activity on Sunday, both followed by book signings. The rest of the time, I ran around trying to see as many amazing author and illustrator presentations as I could. It was exhausting and exhilirating!
“Gather round kiddies! I have a tale to tell…”
“…And a tail to draw!”
Mrs. Kayne’s delightful third grade class. They gave me a wienerific introduction at the beginning of my storytime. It is such a great idea to have students introduce the authors! The kids get involved in the books and the authors feel so welcomed to the festival.
Me signing copies of Wiener Wolf.
Mac Barnett and I sporting our facial hair. It was so fun to get to hang out with all of these amazing children’s book makers. Mac has a knack for getting his books illustrated by the best illustrators in the business. One day I hope to be so lucky as to do the art for one of his fantastic stories.
Shelley and Harper with the man in the moon, William Joyce! Shelley and I are long time fans of this legendary illustrator/author. He has taken storytelling to new realms and runs a mega multimedia studio at his lunar base in Shreveport, LA.
On Sunday, I participated in a storymaking duel pitting myself and rising star, Spelile Rivas against Bob Shea and Michelle Knudsen. We asked the kids to come up with a character and then, dividing the audience in half, created two different stories with the kids using that character. Michelle and Spelile did the writing and Bob and I did the illustrating. Bob is keen on trash talking, and soon it became personal. Dinosaur vs. Wiener Wolf. In the end, Bob prevailed with his giant markers and simple, funny characters. However, the kids were the real winners. Maybe.
Second book signing. Spelile, Bob and Michelle moving some merch!
The only full presentation that I saw was one of the last ones of the festival. It featured the illustrator and the designer of the festival’s posters, brochures and promo materials, Marc Burckhardt and DJ Stout. DJ, a renowned designer of Texas Monthly and Pentagram, introduced Marc. Marc is yet another amazing illustrator living here in Austin. He is the recipient of many awards including the Hamilton King Award, the highest honor an illustrator can receive. His work is beautiful and can be seen at the Shoal Creek Gallery in Austin starting November 11th. Marc is also the illustration instructor at Texas State University, where I will be teaching a couple of graphic design courses next spring.
The Capitol of Texas. A great place for a great festival. Thanks to all of the hard working people who put together this amazing event and included me in it!