A big thank you to the enthusiastic families who stopped by for the storytelling event at the San Antonio Children’s Museum on November 6. I shared the book If I Were President. Then the visiting kids wrote and illustrated their own ideas of what they would do if they were president!
Young visitors to San Antonio — and those who live in the great city, too — should check out this exciting interactive museum. There’s a pretend grocery store to shop, an awesome treetop to climb, a trolley to hop aboard, and tons of other cool things for kids to explore. For awhile, I greeted guests at the front desk and watched kids nearby having a blast as they made colorful balls rain down from above!
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be the President of the United States? Join award-winning author Catherine Stier at the San Antonio Children’s Museum on Saturday, November 6 as she reads and signs her book If I Were President. Afterwards, kids can take part in a fun, presidential-themed craft activity. The event begins at 12:30 p.m. and a book signing will follow. For more information, visit http://www.sakids.org/
Publisher Albert Whitman has started an exciting new Podcast series, and invited me to be a part of it. During the online interview, Albert Whitman’s Melissa Ackerman and I talk about the title Bugs In My Hair?! and discuss how the character of perfectly groomed Ellie deals with a case of lice. The interview was posted just as the new school year begins, as the book addresses a common classroom issue and depicts how little Ellie is at first dismayed by “the horrid things hanging out in her hair” and then discovers a way to help others. To hear this and other interviews conducted by Melissa Ackerman with Albert Whitman author and illustrators, visit http://albertwhitman.wordpress.com/category/author-podcast/
I was honored to learn that Kareem Dale, Special Assistant to the President on disability policy, recently read the Braille version of If I Ran For President to children at a U.S. Department of Education’s “Let’s Read. Let’s Move” event, according to a U.S. Department of Education website article.
The “Let’s Read. Let’s Move” program encourages children to develop a healthy mind and body and is part of the Obama administration’s “Together We Serve” initiative. Hosted by education secretary Arne Duncan, the July 30, 2010 event featured other esteemed guests including U.S. Congressman Jim Langevin and actor Quinton Aaron, who starred in the film “The Blind Side.”
A big thank you to everyone who stopped by the Twig Book Shop in San Antonio last month during the patriotic book signing on July 3. And thank you to all those young people who colored the activity sheet and shared their ideas of what they would do if they were President!
Last month I made my very first trip to Washington D.C. for the American Library Association’s (ALA) Annual Conference. Not only did this visit offer up-close views of many of our nation’s most impressive landmarks, but it also afforded opportunities to attend some exciting children’s lit events.
First, just for fun — who could resist this photo op? One Washington D.C. gift shop has a mock-up of the Oval Office where visitors can pose, appearing very presidential. I felt as if I’d just stepped into the cover of my book, If I Were President.
On Friday, June 25, the wonderful people of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Mid-Atlantic chapter hosted a fun ALA Kid Lit Drink Night at a local meeting place, the R.F.D. Washington. SCBWI members, editors, writers, illustrators, librarians — in fact, anyone interested in children’s literature — had the chance to mingle at this evening event. Such a great idea!
Publishers Albert Whitman and Company invited their authors to join staff members for a get-together on Saturday, June 26. We took a brisk walk to the White House for this memorable picture (Alison Formento, Josalyn Moran, Margaret Read McDonald, Dori Butler, Margaret Coffee and me). Publishers Weekly even featured a photo just like it on their website’s slideshow of ALA. For a peek, visit http://tiny.cc/amkna
On Sunday, June 27, I had the honor of conducting a book signing at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History for my two presidential themed picture books, If I Were President and If I Ran forPresident. What a treat to meet people from all over the country! The museum’s impressive collection includes the Inaugural Ball Gowns of our First Ladies, Lincoln’s top hat and the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to compose the poem that became our National Anthem.
An author I truly admire, Kay Winters, had a book signing at the museum that day, too, for her books, Abe Lincoln: The Boy Who Loved Books and Colonial Voices: HearThem Speak. I first met Kay at a Highlights Workshop in Honesdale, Pennsylvania awhile back and it was so nice to be reacquainted with this lovely lady.
Finally, on Monday, June 28, I made my way to ALA, a huge, inspiring, book-filled event! Albert Whitman and Company made me feel most welcome at a book signing at their booth.
During this quick trip, we also fit in some family sight-seeing and lunch with an awesome librarian friend I don’t get to see nearly often enough.
While it was ALA that led us to head to Washington D.C. this summer, the time spent with family and friends, the wealth of history, the abundance of literary events — and the World Cup playing on big screens in establishments throughout the district — all contributed to a most unforgettable visit to our nation’s capital. So glad I headed to D.C.!
The Twig Book Shop, located at 200 E. Grayson St., Suite 124, San Antonio, Texas, will host an upcoming book signing event with local children’s author Catherine Stier.
On Saturday, July 3, 2010 from 10 a.m. – noon, to commemorate the Independence Day holiday, Catherine Stier will sign her two patriotic and presidential themed books, If I Were President and If I Ran for President, as well as her new ‘tween novel, The Terrible Secrets of the Tell-All Club.
The Terrible Secrets of the Tell-All Club was named a “Teacher’s Picks” by Scholastic INSTRUCTOR Magazine. Kirkus Reviews stated that the book “…deftly addresses the high interest topics for fledgling teens…such as peer pressure, handling bullies and the true nature of friendship.”
The event takes place near the lively outdoor Farmer’s Market at the Pearl Brewery.
For more information, visit the The Twig Book Shop at thetwig.indiebound.com or phone (210) 826-6411.
For an author, a first ever Skype-type visit with a classroom is sure to be an unforgettable experience. But my May 10th over-the-computer exchange with the wonderful students of Mrs. Suida’s fourth grade class at Peck Elementary School of Warren, Michigan was an extra, extra special event for so many reasons.
First, it was the warmth and welcome of their principal, tech director, teacher and the students themselves that made this visit so memorable. Mrs. Suida had read my novel The TerribleSecrets of the Tell-All Club to the class. During our visit, each student approached the camera and microphone and asked an insightful question about the book or about being an author: “How long does it take to write a book?” “What inspired you to write the novel?” “Which character did you identify with the most?” (That one really made me think!)
The students had also started their own club, one that offered the classmates a chance to share their stories and opinions while emphasizing important values of friendship and respect. I was so touched to learn about this wonderful idea and their excitement in creating the club.
What else made this visit out of the ordinary? The school is located in the city of Warren, Michigan, where I grew up and went to school, had my first job, attended junior college and first contributed articles to a community newspaper. In fact, Peck Elementary is just one mile from the house I lived in as an elementary student myself. I shared memories of my childhood in Warren, including the stores, restaurants and movie theater I’d walk to with my friends, and the McDonalds where I worked to help pay for college.
And Mrs. Suida said she remembered some of these places, too!
Following our visit, I emailed the class a photo of myself when I was about their age, and the age of the characters in the book. (That’s me!)
Finally, there was one more special surprise that made this visit so remarkable — my Aunt Pat (she’s also my Godmother), came to the class to be part of the fun. Because we live so far away, my aunt and I haven’t seen each other for quite awhile, and it was great to have her support and the chance to re-connect. My aunt works at the school, and she introduced Mrs. Suida to my book.
A big thank you Mrs. Suida’s Class for a fun, inspiring time, one I won’t ever forget!
Thank you to the students and staff at St. Gregory the Great Catholic School in San Antonio, Texas! I was welcomed as a Guest Author not once but twice — for an April 27th school visit and again at their amazing May 5th Family Literacy Night.
During April’s morning school visit, the students showed such enthusiasm and warmth! Two students at each presentation played the role of presidential candidates and offered their ideas about the issues they would address to the American people. And two more students presented amazing performances as the President of the United States. I wonder if there was a future mayor, senator, governor or even president in the audience that day…
And what a treat to be invited to a Family Literacy Night on May 5th, along with two notable and accomplished San Antonio authors, Diane Gonzales Bertrand and Lupe Ruiz-Flores. I also met San Antonio’s own Book Fairy, who enchanted the crowd and encouraged an appreciation of stories and books. Two book store staff members and a San Antonio librarian shared information on their summer reading programs, too.
Finally, some students drew pictures on activity sheets, illustrating their imaginative ideas of what they would do if they were president.
It was truly an honor to be invited to such fun and inspiring events!