Piedmont Laureate plans discussions with Triangle children's book authors
Posted September 29, 2013
Here's what my preschooler does daily: Stacks a huge pile of picture books on the couch and asks with big puppy dog eyes, "Mommy, will you read to me?"
How can I resist that? We read for so long in the afternoon after she gets out of school that I have to set the timer so we don't miss meeting her older sister when she gets off the school bus. We snuggle under a blanket and start plowing through her pile - often for an hour and usually longer.
We have hundreds of books - all read many, many times. And there are clear favorites in our family: Anything written by Robert McCloskey, Virginia Lee Burton, John Lithgow, Kevin Henkes, Nancy Carlson, Erik Carle, Dr. Seuss, P.D. Eastman and Margaret Wise Brown make the short list. Cynthia Rylant's Henry and Mudge series is so simple and beautiful.
Then there are character favorites - Dora, Curious George, Franklin, Clifford, Arthur and D.W. and Fancy Nancy.
And now my eight-year-old, re-reading the Harry Potter series for the second time, has favorite chapter book collections from classic Beverly Cleary and Roald Dahl books to newer series by the likes of John Grisham, among others.
You know you read a lot when one sibling asks the other if she likes her new hat and they both start reciting from memory "Go Dog Go!" That happened last week.
I could go on, but that's really not what this post is about. There are hundreds of other books - classic and new work - that we own or have picked up from the library that have become part of my kids' lives.
So that brings me to my point: John Claude Bemis, the 2013 Piedmont Laureate, is leading roundtable discussions with other Triangle-area children's book authors to talk about how they started out and which books have inspired them. The program is designed for teachers, librarians, parents, students, readers and aspiring writers.
The first was held at the Regulator Bookshop in Durham a couple of weeks ago. The second is set for 2 p.m., Oct. 5, at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill. It moves to Quail Ridge Books & Music, 3522 Wade Ave., at 7 p.m., Oct. 15. Both events are free and open to the public.
“This event shines a light on the wonderful literary talent we have here in the Triangle,” Mr. Bemis said in the release. “It’s a great opportunity to hear an exciting conversation about creativity, story craft and the magic of writing for young readers.”