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31 August 2016

The Edinburgh International Book Festival - Part 2

Is now over. Happily, I took advantage of a good bit of it. I told you about the SCBWI events the first week here. For the second week I attended three events. The first was Vivian French's discussion on The Hook of Visual Literacy.
Per the website, "Author and Picture Hooks founder Vivian French discusses how the format can be adapted for classroom use, and the resources available to develop visual communication in children. She is joined by Aurelie Norman from Wardie Primary, Edinburgh, who has worked with Picture Hooks." (Picture Hooks co-founder Lucy Juckes is to the left.) The good works Vivian is doing for illustrators and students here in the UK is truly remarkable. She's changing lives, and I'm so proud to call her a friend and mentor.
     The next event I attended was a panel of illustrators.
Emily Gravett, Alex T. Smith, and Lydia Monks talked about their careers, breaking in, their methods, and their projects. It was moderated by the chair for the Kate Greenaway Award, Joy Court, and was truly enlightening. These are all award-winning illustrators at the top of their field here in the UK.
The third event I attended was Judith Kerr, author of the Mog series and The Tiger Who Came to Tea, which is a classic here in the UK like Goodnight Moon or Where the Wild Things Are are in the US.
She's 93-years-old and a beloved treasure. The theatre was packed! She also happened to be very funny and entertaining.
     What I've found so interesting about the book festival this year is how different the UK market is from the US market. Yes, there is crossover, but the UK is definitely its own sandbox. In fact, I'll be doing my dissertation this fall (in the US it would be called a thesis) on the topic: "Comparing and contrasting the Randolph Caldecott and Kate Greenaway Award winners to identify trends, similarities and differences between the US and UK picture book markets." The book festival was a wonderful addition to my research! There was also this - a twig-woven sculpture of the BFG.

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