Saturday, May 26, 2007

International Reading Association

Here it goes- my first real post (cat photo aside). It's been an incredibly hectic few months with shows and conferences, but the end is in sight at last!
One of the highlights of the past few weeks for me was the International Reading Association (IRA) annual Conference, which was held in Toronto two weeks ago. The book fair component of the show was about twice the size of the Ontario Library Association annual conference, taking up th entire South building of the Metro Convention Centre (which is the same location as the Canada Blooms show, for those fellow gardeners out there). The publishers displaying at the book fair brought up an amazing group of authors for sessions and signings.
Hyperion Books hosted a 'Sipping with the Stars' cocktail party, which was kind of like speed dating with authors. There were about ten authors scattered around a restaurant. All invitees got a drink, a bag of books and were let loose to mingle and meet each author for a few minutes & have your books signed. The wonderful Mo Willems was there, which was a great thrill for me as I count his books Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, Leonardo the Terrible Monster, Knuffle Bunny, & the new Elephant and Piggie series as some of my all-time favourites. If you are a Pigeon fan, you absolutely MUST check out the Pigeon website for lots of free downloads & games. Make sure that you look at everything, as Pigeon pops in now and again to offer commentary. There is a new Pigeon book scheduled to release Spring of 2008, but in the meantime fans like myself will have to content themselves with the two new Elephant & Piggie titles and a sequel to Knuffle Bunny coming out this fall! 'Knuffle Bunny Too' is fantastic and answers , at long last, the debate over how to pronounce 'Knuffle'. Trixie does pronounce the 'K' for those keeping track.
Yvonne Collins & Sandy Rideout, the Canadian authors of the new book The Black Sheep, and the Vivien Leigh Reid series were at the party too. It was such a pleasure to meet them after talking about their books for so long. They have a great sense of humour- both in person and in their books! They will be at the H.B. Fenn booth at Book Expo Canada signing books so please feel do stop by and say hello to these authors if you happen to be in the Toronto area June 10th & 11th. I'll post a list of signing times as soon as I have them confirmed.
That's it from me for now!

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