Last weekend, the amazing creators of Winterberries and Apple Blossoms: Reflections and Flavors of a Mennonite Year, Peter Etril Snyder and Nan Forler, launched their book at Conrad Grebel University College.
Along the stage, the original artwork by Peter Etril Snyder was on display.
Words Worth Books was on hand to help! Thank you so much for your constant support of our local authors and illustrators!
Nan Forler had activity stations for all the kids that attended. Here, you could make your own quilt square.
Amish paper dolls and Mennonite colouring sheets.
Perhaps the favourite among all the guests, the whoopie pie station! You could fill it with frosting and dip the edges with sprinkles. To find out how to make your own, click here.
Nan Forler did a reading from the book – with the help of her family!
Just look at all the guests that came out to support Nan and Peter! For more photos from this book launch, please click here.
We’ve got another Word on the Street guest post for you! We love how our authors from all across Canada participated and are reporting back! Jan Andrews was at the Kitchener Radio Group’s Department of Canadian Heritage Reading Rocks Tent.
Jan Andrews: Rock we did, all of us, a wondrously varied assortment of authors and illustrators from the world of Canadian children’s book. Kids came to listen with their faces painted or wearing the party hats they had made in celebration of the fact that this was Kitchener’s 10th Annual WOTS. There was even cake. Children’s entertainer, Erick Chaplin, not only welcomed us, he raised his guitar and played us in. And, oh, those children’s librarians from the Kitchener Public Library, ensuring that everything went smoothly, telling us so clearly how much they care. So, another WOTS is over; another opportunity to reach out to one and all with joy and with delight is done. Whoever came up with this idea deserves much in the way of applause for an event I hope will go on…and on…and on.
Have you started planning out your schedule for Sunday, September 25th, 2011? Everyone is excited about the author events, presentations, workshops, and marketplace. We hope to see you at the Word on the Street festival from 11am to 6pm at Queen’s Park!
Children’s Activity Tent:
12:15pm-1:00pm – Join Nan Forler, author of Winterberries and Apple Blossoms, for a craft activity, make a quilt-inspired square, and take home your own mini wall-hanging! Ages 6 & up.
Children’s Reading Tent:
12:10pm-12:30pm – Ella May and the Wishing Stone by Cary Fagan
1:00pm-1:20pm – Noni Says No by Heather Hartt-Sussmann
1:20pm-1:40pm – Body Works series by Liza Fromer and Francine Gerstein MD
4:30pm-4:50pm – Merci Mister Dash! by Monica Kulling
5:10pm-5:30pm – Juba This, Juba That by Helaine Becker
This is Not Shakespeare Stage:
12:00pm-12:45pm – Mastering the Mystery – How to Keep Readers Guessing
How do mystery authors ensure that their book is a page-turner? How do they keeping us guessing, without compromising the integrity of their characters and the depth of the plot? What are the elements of a great mystery? Join authors Norah McClintock, Evan Munday, and Shane Peacock for a discussion of these topics and more!
Scotiabank Giller Prize Bestsellers Stage
2:00pm-3:15pm – Bestsellers of Tomorrow The Dragon Turn: The Boy Sherlock Holmes, His Fifth Case by Shane Peacock
Summer 1869, Sherlock Holmes and his friend Irene celebrate her sixteenth birthday by attending the theater to watch a celebrated magician make a real dragon appear on stage. Sherlock and Irene meet the magician, Alistair Hemsworth – just as he is arrested for the murder of his rival, The Wizard of Nottingham. It seems that traces of the missing Wizard’s blood and his spectacles were found in Hemsworth’s secret studio. But is Hemsworth guilty? Sherlock has his doubts, and soon, so does the reader. The Dragon Turn is full of humor and plot twists as dizzying as a narrow London lane! Author Shane Peacock invites his readers along on another exciting adventure with one of literature’s all-time favorite characters.
Authors Tent 1:20pm – First Descent by Pam Withers
Montana-born Rex loves nothing more than to take his kayak out on a river, the faster and more powerful the better. When he gets the opportunity to tackle the well-named El Furioso in southwest Colombia, he is thrilled. He anticipates the river’s challenges, but finds himself in a situation where the real danger is human.
Kids Tent on Literacy Lane (Hamilton Street)
4:40pm – The Case of the Missing Deed by Ellen Schwartz
Five cousins are looking forward to their annual vacation at their grandmother’s cottage, but this may be their last summer there as a mining company has set its sights on the land. Grandma must produce the deed to prove that the property legally belongs to the family, but she can’t find it. The cousins suspect there may be clues hidden in the family’s cherished trove of recipes—but can they solve the mystery in time? Ellen Schwartz grew up in New Jersey before moving to Canada. She has written several books for children, including Avalanche Dance and Stealing Home. Ages 8–11
Children’s Reading Tent:
12:00pm – Mrs Kaputnik’s Pool Hall and Matzo Ball Emporium by Rona Arato
1:30pm – Rude Stories by Jan Andrews
2:00pm – Sail Away with Me and Our Corner Grocery Store illustrated by Laura Beingessner
We are happy to hear that there is a new literary festival for children in Kitchener-Waterloo!
Here are the scheduled times for our authors and illustrators:
11:30 am – Laura Beingessner
Illustrator of Our Corner Grocery Store and Sail Away With Me.
3:00 pm – Heather Hart-Sussman
Heather Hart-Sussman wants to tell you about Nana’s wedding. Life with Nana is perfect, that is until she meets Bob!
3:30 pm – Nan Forler
Local teacher, Nan Forler, brings the story of Bird Child alive. Bullying and the ability to rise above it are at the heart of this strikingly beautiful picture book.
Turning Pages – A Literary Festival Date: Saturday, May 15th, 2010 When: 10:00am-9:00pm Where: The Children’s Museum Address: 10 King Street West, Kitchener, ON N2G 1A3 Admission: $10 each or buy any kids or teen book from Words Worth Books and receive 25% off a single admission!
Nan Forler, author of Bird Child, was invited to participate in gritLIT 2010. Here, she recaps her adventures in Hamilton for the festival and a reading at a school she used to teach in. Sounds like she had a busy (but fun) week! Photos courtesy of Nan Forler.
Nan Forler: I have recently returned from two days of readings at inner-city schools: the first two as part of the Hamilton GritLit Literary Festival, and the second at a school Read-a-thon in Kitchener.
You can feel the spirit when you walk into these inner-city schools. There is a joy among the kids, a sense of belonging in a place where they are free to be themselves. The teachers seem to have a palpable love of the school and the sense of humour needed to get through each day.
I drive through the fog and rain to Earl Kitchener School, where Lindsay Hodder, the children’s event coordinator for GritLit, welcomes me at the door. She has everything meticulously arranged and ready to go. We wander up and down stairs and through old brick corridors, with a history and character you don’t find in the “leafy green schools,” as those of us who teach in poorer neighbourhoods refer to the fancy new buildings in suburbia. The audience is much larger than planned, but the students are wonderfully attentive and eager to participate, the teachers supportive and welcoming. Sincere thank yous as we pack up to leave.
That afternoon, I drive past Hess Street School twice, questioning my GPS that insists I have arrived at my destination. The school is tucked between factories and row houses, with no parking for me, my guitar, and my gear in the pouring rain.
Hess Street School is 75% ESL students, the literacy teacher tells us. “You’ll love these kids,” she adds. And who wouldn’t? The students file in, a United Nations of faces, the future of Canada in front of me. With every question, a hundred hands of varying shades shoot up, some students so eager to answer, they can barely hold it in. During the reading, there is complete silence, until the oohs and awes of the final image, the huge snow castle filling the wall of their gymnasium, then appreciative applause.
Afterwards, the students run towards me, wanting to strum my guitar, page through the book, talk to me. A little boy picks up a tiny feather left behind and looks up at me. “You can have that if you’d like,” I tell him. He clutches it in his hand and smiles. I sit down for a photo and the students fight to sit close to me, to hold the book, to put their arms around me. In the hall afterwards, they hug me as they pass, then continue walking. They shout thank you and clap and cheer from the school yard as we leave. One boy bolts towards us and says in careful English, “Thank you for reading your book, Bird Child, to our school, Nan Forler.”
The following morning I am off to my beloved St. Bernadette, a school close to downtown Kitchener, where I taught for 3 years. I am exhausted and fighting off a migraine and a cold but it feels like I am coming home. I know this school, these kids, this staff. I know the challenges that come from teaching here, that go far beyond curriculum, that have to do with helping to raise up children in spite of the life they have been handed. I understand when the principal tells me, her eyes filled with tears, that yesterday was a heart-breaking day.
Again, I feel the love of appreciative kids. “You the best story, Ms Forler,” one girl tells me, pointedly.
I hope these experiences pass on the love of literacy to these kids. I am thankful that the Hamilton GritLit Festival chose these schools as the audience for this story, that the teachers and parents at St. Bernadette chose a Read-a-thon for the school fundraiser.
Standing up for kids like these, being a voice for those who are voiceless, passing on a love of literacy, bringing about justice – this is the message of Bird Child. This is what it’s all about.