yesterday was the Word on the Street Book and Magazine festival in Toronto. It’s been in my calendar for weeks now. I even compiled a list of things I wanted to cover at the event. I’m fortunate enough to live just a streetcar away so I didn’t have to worry about traffic or construction or parking or protests.
Actually I don’t think this was a protest but a parade. But it did seem a little odd to host a parade just blocks away.
I brought my oldest daughter with me while my husband watched the other two. Yes, I’m sure all my kids would have liked going but there’s only so much distraction I can handle. We hit Kid Street first. I could say it was because I brought my daughter, and that’s partly why, but since I have an interest in children’s books also, that’s the real reason we started at Kid Street first.
I was able to finally meet Joanna from Annick Press and what a wonderful lady. And super cheerful. While we waited for Ruth Ohi to read her newest book CHICKEN PIG COW ON THE MOVE (which I’ll be reviewing this Wednesday as part of Write a Review Wednesday), my daughter wanted to try her luck at the Annick Press String Pull Booth. For a loonie donation (that’s a dollar for those non-canadians) she pulled a string to see what prize she would win. You could win a small Annick book, a paperback, a hardcover or the big prize, a collection of books. Well third times the charm.
We then headed over to the Children’s Reading Tent to catch Ruth Ohi. I was looking forward to hearing her read because I enjoy her books but I never expected to be so entertained. Ruth Ohi was energetic and enthusiastic and was right into the kids. Beyond just reading from her book, she shared how she created it, the process and even showed some early sketches. She also offered the kids a chance to experiment with their own illustrations by giving them printouts of Chicken, Pig, Cow with space to include their own background. I think my daughter will be busy drawing.
After the entertaining reading we were able to catch Ruth Ohi at the Annick Press booth and get her to autograph our copies. She personalized my daughter’s book with a wonderful sketch of my daughter. My daughter was delighted.
And before we had a chance to catch our breath my daughter and I were back at the Children’s Reading Tent to catch Patricia Storm read from her new book PIRATE AND THE PENGUIN. Actually, read isn’t quite right. Instead she performed her book in a wonderful play. I’m just sorry I didn’t film it. Of course I had to pick up a copy of her book also. Can’t wait to share it with my kids.
With the readings out of the way (though I was disappointed I missed Carey Fagen and meeting Sylvia from Tundra Books), it was time for a late lunch. The nice thing about the Word on the Street festival this year, they had more than just exhaust dogs. There’s nothing like a sweet corn roast and lemonade.
We did another round of the festival. Cheerios had a tent giving people a chance to send CHEER postcards to the Canadian Olympic Athletes. My daughter couldn’t pass that up. Plus there gave out little sample bowls which was perfect since I didn’t pack any snacks (I guess I didn’t expect to be at the show for as long as we were).
And just before leaving, we ran into an old friend, Chirp. I say old friend because Chirp magazine has been coming to our house for over four years now. My daughter couldn’t resist a hug.
There was music and dancing and performances too. All and all a full and entertaining day. Luckily neither my daughter nor myself fell asleep on the streetcar ride home. But maybe our heavy bag of children’s books kept us away (perhaps some future Write a Review Wednesday books in there too). Until next year.