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Friday, September 19, 2014

Getting Close to Authors and Illustrators

I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing I'm not the only book geek who runs in this circle.  I am fascinated to hear about the process that goes into book creation and I'm thrilled to have a chance to see authors and illustrators.  Though usually I'm too bashful and tongue-tied to say anything to them, I still love being in the same room with authors and illustrators and listening to what they have to say.

There are a few terrific opportunities either coming up, or already here, to get closer to book creators and learn more about their process.  If you have the opportunity to take advantage of them, I highly recommend it!

  • From Houdini to Hugo: The Art of Brian Selznick is just what it sounds like--a glorious exhibition of the original artwork that went into more than a dozen books that Brian Selznick illustrated.  It is marvelous to see the original work (including a few doodles in the margin of some of the pieces), and really interesting to read the statements about each book's creation.  Bonus:  a video of Brian Selznick sharing fascinating tidbits and background stories about the books, and individual illustrations.  This exhibit is at the UW-Eau Claire Haas Fine Arts Center's Foster Gallery until September 25.  Weekend hours:  1-4:30 both Saturday and Sunday.
  • The Chippewa Valley Book Festival is coming up in a few weeks.  Candace Fleming is one of the authors for young people who will be there, and one of the few to make a public appearance.  I'm excited to see this author of fascinating nonfiction and delightful picturebooks on October 18!  I'm also looking forward to seeing Josh Hanagarne, the author of The World's Strongest Librarian, who is speaking at the Schneider Disabilities Forum on September 16 (if you haven't read his book, you should--each chapter starts with a great little vignette that takes place in the Salt Lake City Public Library).
  • Two famous, charming, and enormously talented authors of books for young people will be at the Wisconsin Library Association Conference this year!  Avi, who was named Notable Wisconsin Author for Young People, will be the Thursday luncheon speaker.  Kevin Henkes, winner of the Wisconsin Children's Book Award for The Year of Billy Miller, will be presenting a session Thursday at 2:45.

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