What a weekend!
Saturday was the fourth annual StoryFaire in Santa Barbara, featuring some of my kids’ favorite authors: Bruce Hale, Greg Trine, Val Hobbs, Barbara Jean Hicks and American Girl author Valerie Tripp.
A year ago at Christmas Jasmine wanted nothing but American Girl books. Luckily for us, Valley Books, the used book store in town had a bunch of the original hardcover books. We bought them all. Most of them were written by Valerie Tripp. And when we showed up at her table with just seven in hand, she invited us to bring the rest. Jasmine was ecstatic. All 16 of her books are now autographed. Miss J was delighted to learn that one of her favorite stories in Meet Molly, actually happened in real life to the author. She is also having fun telling anyone who will listen how much the author looks like Kit Kittridge. See the resemblance?
Almost exactly ten years ago we went to Kaui with my parents. Drew was six-months old at the time. As we waited in the check-out stand at the grocery store we saw some childrens books that looked good so we bought them. Turns out we were purchasing the self-published work of Bruce Hale. We brought one of those Moki the Gecko books with us to StoryFaire. Bruce was happy to sign it for us.
And see the cool Chet Gecko drawing on the side? Bruce was showing the kids how easy it is to draw his most famous character.
My son read all the Melvin Beederman books when he was in 3rd grade. And even though in some ways he’s outgrown them, he still has to buy them when new ones come out. Of course, he’s more restrained than my daughter. At 10, even if you’re star struck, you have to maintain that exterior cool. Rather than bring every book in his collection, he brought the first book of the series for author Greg Trine to sign and allowed his mother to bully him into a photo 🙂
On Sunday the Sunshine Brothers gave a free concert in Solvang Park. The kids noshed on shave ice and we all grooved to the pop/reggae/folk rhythms of our favorite local band. Lead singer Owen Plant hails from Jamaica and I swear you can feel the island sun as soon as he starts to sing. The kids didn’t believe me when I said he was from Jamaica so I took them to meet him after he performed so they could hear him speak patois — the Jamaican mish mash of English, Spanish, French, Afrikaans and whatever other foreign languages have managed to influence the culture.
The video below is from a concert they gave a year ago in Solvang’s Festival Theater. All four of us are in the audience somewhere! (If you like this song you can find their album, Live by the Sun, on iTunes. This song, “Sink or Swim” and “Love Again” are my favorites.)
Our weekend ended back at the local used book store. Jasmine had to interview a business owner for a school project and she chose Vonda, the owner of Valley Books, the place where she got all of her American Girl books. One of Miss J’s questions was, “What made you decide to open a used book store?” Vonda’s answer: I liked to spend time in book stores. It’s fun to work where you like to be. Jasmine will be posting the full interview on her blog later this week. I’ll link up when she does.
And amazingly, even with all this going on, we managed to sneak in a short visit to the beach, and…I FINISHED MY EDITS!! Yay! Now it’s up to a few final readers to decide if I got those edits right.
So, enough about me. What did you do this weekend?