Guest Post: Nan Forler

Here is a guest post from Nan Forler, author of Bird Child, about her reading at Elmira Library! Photos courtesy of Nan Forler and Kevin Coates.

Nan Forler: Recently, I had the unique pleasure of doing a reading of Bird Child in my hometown of Elmira, with the students of the elementary school I attended so many years ago.  Bette Cummings, the Children’s Librarian at the Elmira Library has passed on her love of books to hundreds of children over the years.  I used to drive my own children up to Elmira for storytime with “Miss Bette,” as they lovingly referred to her, to enjoy her patient and gentle manner.  Bette has followed the path of Bird Child and was eager to have me come in for a reading. 

Bette had everyone and everything well-prepared for the reading.  The display case at the entrance was decked out with a Bird Child scene, complete with snowy roads, tiny houses, a school bus, and a raven perched on a fence.

The children not only had uniquely hometown comments such as, “I know your sister,” and “Do you know my parents?” but also insightful thoughts on how to be a bystander who challenges the power of a bully.  Rather than ideas for taking revenge, responses such as “How would you feel if someone did that to you?” showed a deep understanding of how to take an active and positive role as a bystander.

The children were amazingly attentive and demonstrated a strong sense of empathy in our role-playing.  Empathy, along with the ability to respond with courage and compassion, are learned behaviours that I hope we can all pass on to the children in our lives.

At the end of the reading, Bette presented me with a beautiful, festive wreath she had created, decorated with items from the story of Bird Child, including a school bus, fence, paintbrush, and music, and invited us to a reception of Christmas cookies and juice.  I left feeling that we all need more “Miss Bettes” in this world.

Read Nan Forler’s previous guest post about her first bookstore reading!

Storytime with Nan Forler

McNally RobinsonLast Saturday, Nan Forler and her family went to visit McNally Robinson Booksellers at Don Mills.

Signing TableThis was a special visit because Nan discussed, sang, read, and signed her debut picture book, Bird Child.

Here is a short clip where Nan brought out her guitar and taught the children a song.

Then, she read from Bird Child to show how Eliza helped Lainey get her own wings to fly.

Craft MaterialNan even came prepared with a craft! She brought in foam birds, ribbons, googly eyes, markers, glue, glitter, jewels, and feathers. The children made holiday bird ornaments.

Bird OrnamentHere is one of the glittery bird ornaments. This one is only half finished. The artist proceeded to add lots of pretty little jewels.

If you were not able to make it to the event, Nan did sign copies of Bird Child that will be available at McNally Robinson Booksellers on a first come, first serve basis. Thank you once again to Nicola and to the staff for making the event a success!

Upcoming Bird Child Events:

  • On November 17th, Nan Forler will be reading from Bird Child at the Locke Branch from 2:00-3:00pm for the Toronto Public Library’s Canadian Children’s Book Week.
  • On November 19th, Nan Forler will be reading from Bird Child at the Elmira Public Library from 1:15-2:00pm.
  • On December 6th, Nan Forler will be reading from Bird Child at Chapters Waterloo from 1:00-2:00pm.

Guest Post: Nan Forler

Here is a guest post from Nan Forler, author of Bird Child, on her first bookstore event! Photos courtesy of Nan Forler and Kevin Coates.

The Freckled LionPoster

Nan Forler: This morning, I did my first official reading at The Freckled Lion Bookstore in Georgetown. What an amazing store! Kate, the store’s owner, has created a warm and happy environment that celebrates kids and books. She and her employees are very knowledgeable about all the books in the store. They spent time with my own kids, listening to their likes and dislikes, to help them find the perfect book. The Freckled Lion is a magical place that resembles The Shop Around the Corner in the movie You’ve Got Mail. Kate even let me try on the Story Lady hat and pretend I was Meg Ryan in the movie!



And the reading? Great fun! Kate put me in a comfy chair, surrounded by lots of kids on cozy floor pillows. Afterwards, Kate handed out little flying birds to all the kids.


Favourite question “about the book”: “Have you ever seen a horse fly?”

Bird Child

My son’s comment from today: “I wish we lived in Georgetown so we could come to this bookstore all the time.”

Nan Forler

Thanks Kate, Bobbi, and Kylie for your warm welcome and a delightful morning!

Launch of: Bird Child

Nan ForlerNan Forler celebrated the launch of her debut picture book, Bird Child, on Saturday, September 19, 2009. The book launch was held at The Great Hall in Conrad Grebel University College from 2-4pm. Have a look at all the Bird Child related activities from the launch in our gallery below:

For more photos from the event, please visit our facebook page. Thank you to Tricia and Bronwyn of Words Worth Books for attending and selling copies of the book at the event. Also, many thanks to Nan’s family and friends, all the volunteers, the dancers, and the musicians!

“Magical and ethereal do not typically describe tales of bullying, but this lyrical combination of realism and fantasy defies expectation…. The complex images and constantly shifting visual perspective perfectly match the ambiguous nature of the text. This is a beautiful book with a somber tone, buoyed by Eliza and Lainey’s triumph in imagining possibilities. They do not fight the bully, but defy him by becoming friends.” – School Library Journal

  • On Saturday, October 3, Nan Forler will be reading at The Freckled Lion bookstore during a special story time at 10:30am.
  • On Saturday, November 14, Nan Forler will be reading at McNally Robinson Booksellers at 3:00pm.
  • On Tuesday, November 17, Nan Forler will be reading at the Toronto Public Library’s Locke Branch at 2:00pm.