Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The Texas Book Festival: 2019



The Texas Book Festival is my birthday treat every year. We only managed to work in one day this year, but it was a delightful day.

I love to pick out a fun place to stay each time. We've slept in a tiny house and in a covered wagon in the past.


This time we stayed in a vintage camper. It was fun and quirky. If only the potty wasn't in the shower!



The next morning, fueled by a stop at Ihop, we hit the festival grounds centered on and around the Texas Capitol.



The Kirkus finalists panel was chockful of my favorite amazing writers and illustrators: Kirkus Nonfiction Prize Winner Saeed Jones; Kirkus Young Readers Prize Winner Jerry Craft; Kirkus Young Readers Prize Finalist Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson; Kirkus Young Readers Prize Finalist Lauren Castillo. 

Kwame Alexander, whose amazing book The Undefeated lost out on the Kirkus to Jerry Craft for New Kid, shared this story. After the awards were announced, Alexander called home. His wife said, "Tell me the good news." Alexander's son, a sixth grader, said, "Please tell me New Kid won." The audience loved Alexander's story.



 From left to right: Jerry Craft, Lauren Castillo, Kwame Alexander, and Kadir Nelson.



There was a huge line to get in to see Big, Wonderful Thing: A New History of Texas author Stephen Harrigan. Harrigan told us he wanted to bring a casualness, a sense of fun to the history of Texas. I'm looking forward to reading this book.



I spent a while in the Read to Me Tent. Isabel Quintero read her picture book My Papi Has a Motorcycle. I recorded Quintero reading the book here.



A New Home author and illustrator Tania de Regil read her book and taught us how to draw using simple shapes.



I returned later to the Read to Me Tent to hear Raúl the Third (Raul Gonzales) read ¡Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market. I also heard Julie Fogliano, Christian Robinson, and Grace Lin share their books.



Pamela Paul, the New York Times Book Review editor, has a new book, How to Raise a Reader, so I had to go hear her panel discuss ways to help children develop a love for reading. One person in the audience raised a question I'm still thinking about: These ideas are great for parents and teachers and librarians who love books and who have ways to acquire books, the fellow said. But how can we reach children who don't have parents who love to read, children who don't have school libraries, children who aren't taken to libraries and bookstores? 



There couldn't be a better way to end my day at the book festival than with Australian children's author Andy Griffiths. Such a funny man.



But my favorite part of the festival is, as always, simply seeing so many people reading and loving books.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Favorite Bookmarks

I love bookmarks.

I collect them.

I've collected them for more than fifty years. 




An old Adidas shoebox is perfect for storing bookmarks.




I've had some of these for a long time.



Some are very helpful.



We made monster bookmarks at school one year. They fit over the corner of your book.



Children like to give me bookmarks they have made themselves.



I've also had book friends send me bookmarks. Isn't this one pretty?



Some bookmarks remind me of special places, like this bookmark I got at the Swan Boats in Boston.




Some are beautiful, but are not really practical as bookmarks.



Some remind me of the old days, when my kids were little, like these two, back from when my sons and their friends liked to put their own pictures on dollar bills and play Fake Money.





Sometimes my friends bring me a bookmark when they return from trips. 




I kept a lot of old Valentines to use as bookmarks. I like these so much.




Sometimes I just can't find a real bookmark, so I have to use whatever I could find.



What are your favorite bookmarks?





Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each Tuesday That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Nonfiction November: Be The Expert: Books About Nature




Nonfiction November is hosted this year by Julie (JulzReads), Sarah (Sarah’s Book Shelves), Katie (Doing Dewey), Rennie (What’s Nonfiction) — is a month-long celebration of everything nonfiction. Each week, they’ll be a different prompt and a different host looking at different ideas about reading and loving nonfiction.

Week 3 (Nov. 11 to Nov. 15)
Be The Expert/Ask the Expert/Become the Expert (Hosted by Katie at Doing Dewey)Three ways to join in this week! You can either share three or more books on a single topic that you have read and can recommend (be the expert), you can put the call out for good nonfiction on a specific topic that you have been dying to read (ask the expert), or you can create your own list of books on a topic that you’d like to read (become the expert).


I became a Texas Master Naturalist last year. I love being a Texas Master Naturalist. We teach children about nature. We work on nature trails. We help at the native plant nursery. 

I love to read about nature. Here are some of my favorite reads about nature.









The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman


H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald





Wilderness Essays by John Muir



Walden by Henry David Thoreau



Have you read any of these?
Are any of these new to you?
Do you have other good nature books to share with me?
Please share them in the comments.