Monday, April 27, 2009

A Novel Weekend at the Festival of Books

Above, that's the Blogger Preschooler waving to the gigantic caterpillar from Eric Carle's children's classic, "A Very Hungry Caterpillar."

Evan's preschool class memorized "A Very Hungry Caterpillar" for their school's holiday show last December, and to this day he can recite the entire story, even without the help of the book. That's why I was excited to see that Eric Carle himself would appear at this year's Los Angeles Times Festival of Books (actually, the entire festival's logo was based on Carle's unique illustrations).

Here's Carle reading from the book at the Target Children's Stage (where we spent a good portion of Saturday). To his left is Debi Derryberry, the voice of "Jimmy Neutron" and the host at the stage.

As Carle read from the book, it was pretty cool to hear several hundred kids yell out at the same time, "STILL HUNGRY!" (Carle's books are big on repetition, and if you're not familiar with "A Very Hungry Caterpillar," well, let's just say he's a very hungry caterpillar.)

I realize that, with a pre-schooler in tow, my Festival of Books experience may be dramatically different than yours. Attending panels is nearly impossible, and instead you're spending a big chunk of the day in the kids section. And yet, I'm perfectly happy with that. To see the Blogger Preschooler excited about being surrounded by books... that's worth it.

MEANWHILE, the temperature this weekend was nearly perfect -- unlike the dreadful heat wave that crippled the event last year. The wind, however, got a tad out of control -- a few tree branches came tumbling down behind the children's stage at one point.

But more seriously, three people were injured when a 15-foot scaffold holding a Festival of Books banner came crashing down. (Above, see the remains on the ground.)

The nearby food court was temporarily closed down as authorities figured out what happened.

Other images from the Festival of Books:

Mr. Dodger Thoughts himself, Jon Weisman, interviewing fellow baseball fan and author Alyssa Milano.

Unfortunately, we had to leave Jon's segment early in order to make it over to "Choo Choo Soul." There's something oddly compelling yet wholly inappropriate about them.

LA Observed's Kevin Roderick signs a copy of his San Fernando Valley book for us.

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