Bookfest Fun for Junior Readers

by Matthew, Donovan and Joshua

On Saturday May 1st, we went to Bookfest in Nanaimo. Bookfest is a celebration of authors and their books. It happens each year. There are at least eight authors or illustrators from across Canada. There is time to attend three presentations and then you can meet all of the authors at the end of the day at the book signing.

We were able to attend this big event because we were part of the Red Cedar club. We read and discussed five nominated books at meetings each week. Once we completed the reading, we were entitled to vote for our favourite books. We were also entitled to go to Bookfest.

The non-fiction title that received the most votes from us this year was Kids Who Rule about children who became rulers of a country at a very young age. What if your mom, dad and teachers had to bow down everytime you entered the room? The author, Charis Cotter came to our school. Grades 3, 4 and 5 were very lucky to attend her presentation! The fiction title that received the most votes from us this year wasSafe as Houses by Eric Walters. A babysitter helps the children she is caring for battle the rising waters of Hurricane Hazel. Will they survive? We hope to meet this author some time.

On the Bus
by Jessalyn and Sophie

We all met here at the junior school at 7:10. We had to get up VERY early. Though we were tired, we were excited about the day ahead of us. Some of the class was sleepy and some were awake and some were on a sugar high (yes, first thing in the morning). I was excited thinking about buying a book written by one of the authors. We passed some cool places…but it seemed to take quite a while to get there!

On the way, our bus driver, George, who is a naturalist and bird lover, pointed out vesper sparrows to us. They live at the Nanaimo airport because there is a natural habitat for them there. They don’t cut the grass so they can continue to grow in numbers. There used to be many of them on the island. Now they are only found at this airport. Later in the day, he pointed out a vulture to us. We felt as though we had our very own tour guide.

Arrival at the University
by Laura and Joshua

When we got off the bus at the university we noticed that Vancouver Island University is huge. It has many buildings. We found our way to the cafeteria where we had donuts and juice. Then we prepared to go to our first author presentation. In order to find the correct building, you had to follow the blue feet on the ground that led the way.

Shelley Tanaka is an award-winning non-fiction author. She told us that she puts non-fiction research information at the beginning of her books and then writes a fiction story including the facts in the middile of the book. She does this because you use a different part of your brain when you read fiction and non-fiction, so you get smarter or learn double when you read the same topic once presented in non-fiction, once presented in fiction form.

I like Shelley Tanaka because she told us how she did her research and wrote her nonfiction features. The book I liked best was New Dinosaurs. It is full of interesting facts about dinosaurs and how they could have died. The facts section and the fiction story help you understand the information! You should see her books in the library so you can see what I mean.

Tim Wynne Jones
by Jill, Nick and Maggie

Tim Wynne Jones has won the Governor General’s Award for writing twice. So, he is a great writer. He also knows how to make you laugh. I laughed so hard that my stomach hurt after his presentation.

Tim Wynne Jones pointed out the all good writers have a disease. The disease is called “what if” disease. Then he gave us some examples if “what if” disease. What if you were a person who handed hockey players their sticks…a stick boy? What if because you were really skinny a hockey player grabbed you instead of the stick? What if he scored when you were the stick? Whose goal would it be? Yours or the hockey players? Then Noah cleverly pointed out that there would be too many men on the ice, so the goal would not count!

I thought that Tim Wynne Jones was very funny. He explained how he gets ideas from his own everyday life. He also said that to be a good writer you had to be a good liar.

Lunch Time
by Lucie and Roan

I liked lunch time because we ate lunch on a grassy hill and listened to music. After that we could have our face painted and buy books by our favourite authors. There was a big selection of books in the cafeteria. However, when we went to buy books, Tim Wynne Jones’ books were sold out! We were disappointed about that.

Mireille Levert
by Jayne, Laura and Anna

We enjoyed Mireille Levert because she showed us how she draws her art. She gave us an example of something that she draws in rough and then how she improves her product by putting paper over top of the original and including the good part of the image and leaving out what she doesn’t want in the final product. She is an artist and her work isn’t perfect the first time.

She showed us what she called “tricks” for illustrations. Besides the trick about improving the final product, she showed us how to get interesting texture and effects by using salt over top of watercolours. We was many of the effects in her books.

She also told us that she was inspired to write her books from things in her life. In one book, Eddie Longbottom, she had seen an incredibly tall man. She got that across in her book by turning the book on its side and drawing the man the full length of the book.

In her most recent book, her pet died, so she wrote about loss and how to work your way through a big loss.

Book Signing and Park Visit
by Gwyneth, Abby and Madison

After the author presentations, the authors came to the cafeteria to sign books. The lines were huge and I thought that it would take forever to get to the author you wanted to see.

I managed to get two books signed – one by Tim Wynne Jones and the other by Mireille Levert. Both of them were very friendly. Mirelille Levert took the longest because she drew a picture for each person. She drew a picture in the book that is going into our library. Then Tim Wynne Jones agreed to have his photo taken with all of us.

I enjoyed going to the park. After we left the university we went to a huge park. It was so incredibly hot that some people sat on a bench. But there were cool spinners that we had to try. You would put one foot on the spinner and propel yourself with the other. Then you would put the other foot on and you would go faster than the fastest spin on a tea cup at Disney Land. After that you had to sit on the bench again for a while.

We had four parents come along on our trip to Bookfest: Mr. High, Mrs. Liew, Mrs. Litton and Mr. Sudal. It was a long day, so they gave up a great deal of time for us. We hope they enjoyed the day and we want to thank them for coming along and helping out.


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