Thursday, June 01, 2006

Roundtables, Tea, and Victoria

So, up at 5am this morning to get interviewed along with several other authors for our upcoming celebration of The Victoria Children's Literature Roundtable's 25th anniversary. For those of you who don't know about Roundtables, it's a Canadian thing, but need not be. It began with Ron Jobe, back in Edmonton, Alberta when he was still working in elementary schools. It has since spread to a dozen or so Roundtables across the country. I think it really picked up when he started teaching in the Education Department of UBC in Vancouver. The purpose of the Roundtable is to promote, support, and educate both professionals and parents about children's books in Canada. We lauch kids books, host author/illustrator talks, give out an annual information book prize, support programs like Freedom to Read and Family Literacy, hold conferences designed to introduce teachers and librarians to the best in kids books, etc. etc. For a couple of years, we even held Children's Book Festivals where kids could come to hear a dozen authors/illustrators talk about their work. A Roundtable is pretty much whatever you want or need it to be. We usually meet in schools once a month or so, and often work with the library to get grants to help pay expenses.

Anyways, back to 5am...We met at Point Ellis House, an historic house by the waterfront with fabulous gardens, and where our Tea will be held on Sunday. We have invited 25 authors/illustrators in keeping with our 25 year old group. The interviews were short, snappy, and varied, and we hope they raise our profile in the community . Unfortunately, the weather was not as cooperative as it could have been, but at least there wasn't a down pour. Most of the authors had dressed up in Victorian costumes to go with the setting, but I just fancied up my garden hat with floweres and ribbon and wore a long skirt. Can't wait until Sunday, when I have my fingers crossed for sunshine and a wonderful turn out of kids book lovers.

Here are a few of the famous authors coming: Kit Pearson, Julie Lawson, Polly Horvath, John Wilson, Nikki Tate and Susan Musgrave. We were even fortunate enough to snaggle Ron Jobe, who is I understand, showing up in a top hat and tuxedo. The authors are being ferried in on these little eight person ferries in three groups, so it will be quite fun.

I will try and post a few pictures after the event, but not until late because I have the pleasure of taking Ron Jobe out for dinner after and hearing all about his trip to Australia, which as always, involved kids books.

ta ta for now.

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