Jessica from The Quirky Bookworm didn’t participate in our blogger pajama party but she did join us for dinner on Saturday night. We were also thrilled to have author Liza Bakewell (MADRE: Perilous Journeys with a Spanish Noun) and her very charming daughter join us as well.
I’ll just tell a bit about my two favorite presentations. One was a workshop on picture book illustration called “Bats, Balls, and Gloves: Great Sports Heroes” with Matt Tavares, Phil Bildner and Kadir Nelson. (The picture shown below is from Matt’s blog.) These three guys were terrific but Matt Tavares in particular blew me away: passionate, dedicated, and as excited as a little kid about what he does. He had a great slide show about the process of collecting information for a book, how his drawings get made, and some glimpses at the editorial comments he gets on his illustrations.
The information in this workshop contrasted with the one I went to that featured David Diaz, Adam Rex, and Chris Gall. Those three are very much into using computer programs for much of the process, and they too showed slides that demonstrated how this was done. Still, they all start with drawings, and David Diaz did some demonstration art for us before the session started. (The picture below is not from Tucson but from a different presentation.)
My second favorite session was with Captain Charles Moore, who has done so much research on the abundance of plastic and other trash now circulating in the ocean. His talk on the biological impact of all this plastic on marine life and the human food chain had the audience scared to death! If you want to read more about the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” and get generally frightened about all the chemicals we are ingesting, you can start on his website or watch one of the videos of him in which he summarizes his findings, here.
My greatest accomplishment at the Book Fest was not buying any books, although I did make a list of all the ones I wanted, and came home and entered them on my wishlist. In particular, I wanted every book talked about in the panel featuring Joshilyn Jackson, Tiffany Baker, and Amy Stolls. (The picture below of Joshily and Tiffany is from Joshilyn’s website.) It’s only a matter of time before I succumb….