The picture book community is full of supportive people who help each other in a variety of ways. We are an interconnected web of authors and illustrators who may have never met in person, but truly are friends. The photo above, taken last Friday, has two of the most supportive members of this community. Julie Hedlund who is the force behind 12×12, part of Picture Book Summit, and other great resources.
The reason for our gathering, Vivian Kirkfield was in Colorado reading FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN at Second Star 🌟 to the Right in Denver, for a wonderful story time.
In the KidLit community, Vivian is one of the shining stars ⭐️ who most people know, not because she had three books released this year with more on the way in 2020. It’s because she never passes up the chance to share her wisdom, support another writer, or act as cheerleader to the many people she meets along the way.
Here she is enjoying a game of peek-a-boo with a little one before reading.
After we left the bookstore, some of us were fortunate enough to extend the time by having lunch with Vivian’s son, daughter, and son-in-law. When everyone else had left to do some shopping or go back to work, Vivian and I enjoyed visiting on a bench before it was time to leave for the airport. While we were there, an adorable little girl with both of her parents stopped to tell us something important, “It’s my birthday!” she announced.
Could she sense that we were the perfect audience to share this news with? How did she know there couldn’t have been two people more excited to hear her news and celebrate with her?🎉 🎂We told her we’re both authors of children’s books and Vivian gave her a coloring sheet.
12Books12winners Giveaway US only
To say I’m honored to be on this list of Thought Leaders from the Apollo 11 celebration at Wings over the Rockies is an understatement.
As I said to a friend yesterday, I’m a drop in the bucket in this ocean of talent. I suppose a more appropriate analogy would have been I’m a tiny star 🌟 in the infinite expanse of endless knowledge others on this list possess. Regardless of the depth of talent and amazing people I met, I’m grateful beyond words and am inspired just as Aliana is by it all.
Javi Báez Anthony Rizzo
The Cubs played three games in Denver. The first was a close one with a sad outcome. The next two were lopsided 10-3 and 10-1 finishes with one win and one loss. Win or lose, I’m a Cubs fan for life!
I truly enjoyed the month of April as Author-of-the-Month at all four Timbuk Toys stores in Denver. It was lovely meeting people and sharing Aliana Reaches for the Moon. Toy stores are such a happy place.
I received a warm welcome each time I visited a store from both the employees and shoppers. I enjoyed interesting conversations about books, children, science, encouraging curiosity in children, and the importance of boys reading about strong, intelligent girls. In other words, a book with a female main character is NOT a ‘girl book.’ We have to empower our daughters and also teach our sons that girls are their equals. As a reading specialist, this is an important subject on which I have done considerable research and therefore have some strong opinions regarding how literature impacts the way gender roles are portrayed.
Was it Successful? There are many ways to measure success.
- Was it fun? Yes!
- Was the book well received? Yes!
- Did the employees like my book? Yes, one store set up the display above and sent me this picture. It’s humbling, to say the least.
- Did we sell a lot of copies? Yes! In fact, I broke the previous record of Author-of-the-month sales by over 60% so for those of us who like quantitive information YES!
There are so many ways and reasons why it’s important to support local businesses. Independent book stores are my favorite places to visit no matter where I travel.
It’s been a while since I shopped for toys, but for the month of April I’ll be spending a lot of time at a Denver toy store, or should I say four wonderful stores? Timbuk Toys has four locations and I am the April Author-of-the-Month at all of them. This is a great example of a local store supporting a local author; something that takes ‘Shop Local’ to another level.
It’s fun to spend time in such a happy place as I’ve been able to share ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON with people shopping for birthday gifts, a few teachers, a dad looking for a gift for his daughter, and of course children. Sharing my book with children makes my teacher 💜 so happy! I was even surprised by a friend who came after seeing my event posted on Facebook.
I’ll be visiting all four stores during the month so if you’re in the Denver area, check out TimbukToys and buy a signed copy or two of ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON!
Independent Bookstores are the best way to celebrate a book launch!
Yesterday I was the featured author at a wonderful new location of a beloved Denver bookstore, Second Star to the Right.
If that name sounds familiar but you have never been to Denver, Colorado, it’s probably because of the song from Peter Pan. These opening words from the book sum up how I feel about the past week launching Aliana Reaches for the Moon.
“The second star to the right shines in the night for you. To tell you that the dreams you plan Really can come true”
I’m over the moon to have such wonderful friends help me celebrate the launch of my new book!
Second Star to the Right 🌟🌟🌟song