Saturday, April 2, 2016

2016 Warrensburg Children's Literature Festival, Day 3

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

After a quick breakfast, we hustled over to the campus to get our seats for Obert Skye's first presentation. We got there with plenty of time to chat with Obert about his upcoming visit to Allen County Young Authors in April....which I will be attending. Yes, we may have seen his presentation before, but he is a stellar presenter. I love his closing remarks to kids in challenging them to 1) Have courage and suppress fears that keep them from doing the things they love; 2) Think BIG by giving life to their extraordinary ideas; and 3) Be Great at whatever they decide to do and don't settle for being average. Awesome job, Bro. Skye!

Next we visited Mary Casanova. Her presentation focused on how she wasn't a strong reader when she was a kid. She would start reading a book, but would get easily distracted by the inviting Minnesota wilderness and she would leave the book behind to be outdoors. She thought there was something wrong with her, but she realized many people had the same issue. It wasn't until she read Gary Paulsen's Hatchet, that she found her niche with both reading and writing. So her stories deal a lot with the outdoors whether it's her One-Dog Canoe picture books or her Wolf Tracks chapter books...all her material focuses on her love of the great outdoors. At the end of her presentation, she gave me her newest picture book, Wake Up, Island, to review. I'll be putting that up on my blog soon.

After Mary, we saw a new presenter to Warrensburg this year--Leslie J. Wyatt. Leslie is fairly new to the publishing world, but she has published a few books for young adults: River Rats and Poor is Just a Starting Place. She focused her presentation on the cliff dwellers who lived in Mesa Verde. She shared the history of finding Mesa Verde by cowboys and the evidence archeologists have discovered of the people who built and lived in the magnificent cliff palaces.

Our final presenter we saw was Stephen Johnson. Johnson is also fairly new to the children's publishing world. He is foremost a fine artist, but he has designed and written books for children. He uses his artistic abilities to create such books as Alphabet City, My Little Blue Robot, Alphabet School, City by Numbers, and A is for Art: An Abstract Alphabet.

It was a fun conference! Check out these authors and their books.   


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