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Festival of the Hills – A Crop of Authors

The Authors Tent

The Conway Festival of the Hills is a grand autumnal event in our region. This year I got to share tent space with other authors like Marie Betts Bartlett (left in blue) who brought her book The (true) Story of The Little Yellow Trolley Car and Heidi Stemple (right oogling the baby. Heidi is the daughter of and co-author with Jane Yolen of many books, true, mysterious and delicious.  In the center is Jessica, owner of The World Eye Bookstore who was running the cash register.

David Costello, author and illustrator

David Costello was at the table too, with his new book Little Pig, and his ink and brush. Because of the constant rain we did have a few quieter moments which gave David time to make special drawings, in consultation with some younger readers. This area is so rich in fine authors and illustrators that a whole new roster took the afternoon signing session: Holly Hobbie, John Crowley, Peter Jeswald, and editor of Morning Song, Susan Todd.

Holly Hobbie is well known for her Toot and Puddle series of books, but I love her new books about Fanny. John and Peter write for adults. Crowley takes us to worlds fantastic and real in his novels, while Jeswald is a good man to have a round the house and garden with non-fiction books from Taunton Press and Storey Publishing.

Susan Todd, along with Carol Purington, edited the poetry anthology Morning Song: Poems for New Parents that I wrote about here.

The Little Yellow Trolley Car

I’ve even given a copy of this to my great-granddaughter Bella so she’ll know a little piece of our local history. The book is a delight.

I Can Help

I bought this for my younger great granddaughter, Lola, because even at two she must be learning that there are ways she can help.

Barefoot Book of Dance Stories

I got this signed for Bella but I might wait a year or two before giving it to her. She is always twirling and dancing, but the stories of other cultures and their dances might be even more entrancing for a slightly older girl.

Sleep, Black Bear, Sleep

This is a charming bedtime book with whimsical illustrations of all kinds of animals that hibernate in winter.

I was thrilled that so many people came to have books signed for their children, making sure we knew that they were already reading to them, every day, even if they were only three months old. That is the perfect time to begin, and contemplate years of happy Reading Aloud.

Crops of writers help us grow crops of readers. Very important.

3 comments to Festival of the Hills – A Crop of Authors

  • You have such a rich literary culture in your area, Pat! How wonderful to have so many authors together and the opportunity for parents to bring their children to meet these authors. I agree it’s so important to start reading to children as early as possible.

  • Pat

    Rose – I am fortunate and we had a great time comparing notes and experiences. Everyone agrees you can’t read to children too early – or too long.

  • Dear Pat,
    Heart warming post! I can hardly wait to be a grandmother, for we live in such a incredible area . . . overflowing with talented writers and illustrators for children’s books. I love this and yes it is so important – “Crops of writers help us grow crops of readers. Very important.”

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