Monday, November 22, 2010

Virginia Is For (Book) Lovers

At book festivals up and down Virginia in the past two weeks, The Year of Goodbyes and Maybe I'll Sleep in The Bathtub Tonight were met with enthusiasm and inquisitiveness--and I was met with much gracious hospitality!  The children in all three venues--Fairfax, Newport News, and Virginia Beach--were bursting with ideas and rhymes in our Bathtub sessions on funny poetry.

In Newport News, a group of adults and high school students gathered for discussion of The Year of Goodbyes.  The participants raised a wide range of issues, including the commonality of refugee and immigrant experiences across the decades, and the relationship between the old-fashioned poesiealbum presented in the book and social media like Facebook and Twitter.  Excellent discussion!  It is no slight to this adult audience to say that the audience of fifth graders I met a week later in Virginia Beach to talk about The Year of Goodbyes voiced thoughts and questions that were every bit as insightful and interesting in their own way.

I had another treat in Virginia Beach, which was seeing fellow children's book author Laurel Snyder present her book, Baxter the Pig Who Wanted to Be Kosher, to the kindergarten-and-under set.  A wonderful story, both funny and meaningful.  I sat there laughing out loud, just like the kids.

For me, then, very rewarding trips!  Many thanks to the Jewish Community Centers that hosted me, and to the Jewish Book Council for facilitating my events in Nothern Virginia and Virginia Beach.

Sharing The Year of Goodbyes with students from the Hebrew Academy, Virginia Beach--what a library they have!

Talkin' 'bout bedtime poems at the Virginia Beach JCC


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