Posts Tagged ‘shopping for books’

My word! All full day of Word on the Street.

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.

Protest? Parade?

Protest? Parade?

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.

Persistance pays off

Persistance pays off

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.

Ruth Ohi reading from her book CHICKEN PIG COW ON THE MOVE

Ruth Ohi reading from her book CHICKEN PIG COW ON THE MOVE

Doughnuts and jellybeans, how to draw by Ruth Ohi

Doughnuts and jellybeans, how to draw by Ruth Ohi

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.

Ruth Ohi personalized my daughter's book..

Ruth Ohi personalized my daughter's book..

...with a wonderful sketch.

...with a wonderful sketch.

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.

Patrica Storm as the pirate

Patrica Storm as the pirate

Patrica also gave the audience tips on how to draw their own penguin and pirate

Patrica also gave the audience tips on how to draw their own penguin and pirate

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.

More than just hotdogs

More than just hotdogs

The corn was perfect

The corn was perfect

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).

Sending a little Cheer to the Olympic athletes

Sending a little Cheer to the Olympic athletes

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.

An old friend, Chirp

An old friend, Chirp

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.

A book festival isn't complete without books

A book festival isn't complete without books

Have you heard The Word on the Street?

wots

I’ll let you in on a little secret, I love books. Okay, probably not much of a secret. I love to write for kids and review great children’s books through my weekly Write a Review Wednesday post. So my excitement about this Sunday’s Word on the Street book and magazine festival should come as no surprise. My husband and I use to go religiously every year before we had kids, though it’s hard to remember those moments. I’m looking forward to getting back into going again.

Hearing author’s read, checking out some of the new children’s books, meeting some of the publishers I’ve had a chance to work with. Perhaps I’ll even pick up a tip or two on progressing my children’s book writing. The day promises to be full, but some of the key things scheduled that I want to visit are:

  • It’s All About Kids, Carey Fagan, CBC Stage (1:30-2:30). You may remember I wrote a review on Carey Fagan’s book Thing-Thing.
  • 5 Things That WON”T Help You Get Your Children’s Book Published (and 3 That Just Might), Stephanie Simpson McLellan, Canadian Magazine Tent (11:15-11:45)
  • Chicken, Pig, Cow on the Move, Ruth Ohi, Children’s Reading Tent (1:00-1:30). You may remember I wrote a review on Chicken, Pig, Cow. I plan to have a review on Chicken, Pig, Cow on the Move next Wednesday.
  • The Pirate & The Penguin, Patricia Storms, Children’s Reading Tent (2:00-2:30)

I’m bring my seven year old daughter with me so I think we’ll be spending a lot of time on Kids Street.

So if you’re in or around Toronto and you love books, be sure to stop by The Word on the Street book and magazine festival this Sunday, September 27, from 11:00-6:00pm. And if you see me wandering around starry-eyed and loaded with books, but sure to say Hi (though you might have to wave your hand in front of my face to get my attention).

Write a Review Wednesday: Pinkalicious

Welcome to another Write a Review Wednesday, a meme started by Tara Lazar as a way to show support to authors of kids literature. Last week I wrote a review on Colleen Sydor‘s and Nicolas Debon‘s heartwarming tale Timmerman Was Here thanks to my friend Sylvia from Tundra Books (@TundraBooks). It’s almost time for my two oldest to head back to school so for this weeks review I asked my oldest to pick out her favourite Scholastic book from her personal library.

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Going back to school means shopping for school supplies, getting up early and peanut-free lunches. But in our house it also means Scholastic Books (@scholastic). As the class rep (aka, teacher’s helper) I was able to see the catalogs first and the kids love going through them. So my daughter pulled out her Scholastic favourite Pinkalicious, written by Victoria Kann and Elizabeth Kann and illustrated by Victoria Kann (age 4-8).

To escape boredom on a rainy day a young girl’s mom makes pink cupcakes, yummy cupcakes, PINKALICIOUS cupcakes! She eats one and then another and then another until her belly turns the colour of a sunset. Dad is upset. Mom is worried. But the little girl is so happy she cries (pink tears), ‘I’m PINKERBELLE‘.

After a bath in industrial strength soap and a misunderstanding with birds, bees and butterflies in the park, a trip to the doctor’s office is in order. But when the little girl refuses to follow doctor’s orders, things go from bad to worse.

As kids we’ve all heard the expression ‘you are what you eat’ and Pinkalicious illustrates this wonderfully by turning a little girl pink from eating too many pink cupcakes. I love that the little girl is happy with her transformation, at first. Any child would understand the little girl’s initial thrill. I’m sure my kids would love to wake up and find out they were made of chocolate. That is until the cats decide to eat them. And just like my kids, the little pink girl soon starts to regret her new skin shade.

My kids delight in listening to this story. My son loves the little brother ending and my oldest daughter loves when the little girl forces herself to gag down all sorts of green foods. Of course my daughter can’t understand why she doesn’t want to eat all those wonderful green foods. I love how shades of pink appear in the illustrates beyond in just the little girl’s skin colour.

Our copy of Pinkalicious is only available through the Scholastic school market, but you can get a version from Amazon.ca to add to your personal library.

If you’re looking for other reading ideas, you can view previous Write a Review Wednesday posts.

A Muggle of a Challenge

I’ll admit it, I’ve seen all the Harry Potter movies and enjoyed them immensely (some more than others). My kids have seen them too. We actually own them on DVD and re-watched them recently in preparation for the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

I remember when the books first came out and all the press around how kids were devouring them. I even knew adults who were into them. But me, no I just couldn’t bring myself to read them. I don’t know why actually. But I held strong.

Then the first movie came out. Since I hadn’t read the book before the movie, it was unlikely I was going to read it now. I have a problem reading books after I’ve seen the movie (though watching a movie after reading the book doesn’t seem to be an issue, even if I’m usually disappointed with film). When the Lord of the Rings Trilogy was planned for a film release, I made sure to finish reading all the books before seeing the movies. I think I get distracted and find difficulty maintaining my interest in the book because I know what the outcome is (oh, I’m also not one to reread books either).

But then something happened. After watching Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (which I really enjoyed), my kids started asking a bunch of questions; questions not addressed in the movie. Like all movie versions of books, they cut and condense. I thought all would probably be revealed in the printed pages so it was then that I decided to start reading the books. We could read a few pages everyday, out loud. The kids might maintain their interest since they know the characters.

Then I saw a tweet from Belle at MsBookish (@msbookish) about a Harry Potter Reading Challenge over at Galley Smith (@galleysmith). What were the odds! So of course I jumped over and signed up that night. Now my problem is getting a copy of the first book. When I checked the bookstores near, Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone was no where to be found  (others must be jumping on the Harry Potter book bandwagon too). I’m on the waiting list at my library for one of their 174 copies and I’ve asked my local bookstore to order the first book from Raincoast Books (@RaincoastBooks) too. Hey, maybe I’ll be lucky enough to win one of the two box sets of books Galley Smith is giving away as part of the reading challenge launch.

What are you waiting for? Why don’t you jump over and sign-up too.

Just five more minutes

Oh, I don't have this one!

Oh, I don't have this one!

Yes, it’s true, I’m a selfless mom who puts her needs and desires behind that of her loving and caring family. What? You don’t believe me? It’s true, well when it comes to shopping that is. You can stop rolling your eyes now. The truth is, I hate buying for myself. I’m not sure why. It will probably come out in one of my therapy sessions later in life, some tragic prepubescent training bra shopping experience. I’m really bad with the whole shopping for me thing. If it wasn’t for my loving husband, I probably wouldn’t even have new underwear (thanks honey).

Okay, maybe my issue isn’t shopping but what I’m shopping for. I don’t seem to have this problem when it comes to bookstores, just  make sure I don’t have cash, debit or credit cards on me. Even without money I can spend an entire day there. And it doesn’t matter what the material is: books for kids, travel guides, new releases, cooking books, parenting guides, even magazines. I start in one end of the store and work my way around. Then throw one of those shiny SALE stickers on and all of a sudden I absolutely  need that copy of ‘Learn to Sing Your Multiplication Tables in Spanish’.

So it really comes as no surprise that I ended up buying gift cards for the bookstore as gifts for the kids teachers this year. I know, gift cards are so impersonal, but they gave me the justifiable excuse to buy $100 of other reading material just for me (shh). Makes me wonder what came first: my interest in writing instilled my love of books or the other way around.