Everything’s Coming Together

It’s the end of Children’s Book Week! How have you been celebrating? At Hallmark I’ve been enjoying kid lit inspired food all week in our cafeteria, the Crown Room. The Dragons Love Tacos taco bar was especially good. A big thanks to Kate, AKA The Picture Book Cook, for her help with the list. (PS: If anyone would like to see the list that Kate and I compiled, I’d be happy to share. Wouldn’t kid lit food at schools be such a fun thing, too?)

I’ve been looking forward to this week ever since I interviewed Shaina Birkhead for my podcast - episode 12, if you’re interested! - Shaina is the associate executive director of the Children’s Book Council which supports the Every Child A Reader program and Children’s Book Week.

Shaina shared with me a few of the details for how the 100th anniversary of Children’s Book Week will be celebrated throughout the year - both spring and fall engagements. One of the fall events will be in partnership with The Rabbit hOle right here in Kansas City.

I’m addition to a presentation on Queer Kid Lit which I gave in March, and an article I wrote about letter writing with kids (called “You’ve Got Hugs!”) which posted in April on Hallmark’s Think.Make.Share. blog, I’ve also been looking forward to several big “share-outs” I’m preparing, the first of which is coming up next week. I’ll be speaking at Hallmark’s Creative Leadership Symposium (at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts!). I’ll be talking a little bit about the podcast and a lot about the power of story. I’m looking forward to it!

To share a few more details about the podcast project, I’ll have an exhibit that will be up all summer in the Creative Library at Hallmark. I’ve spent months preparing with immense guidance and support from the fabulous library staff. I’ll share more of that exhibit through Instagram so stay tuned, all ye who aren’t Hallmarkers.

I’ll also be giving a talk on May 22 sharing details about my process researching and creating this - my first ever podcast. I’ll look for a way to share that out as well. (Bonus episode?)

Meanwhile I’ve been reading reading reading Meghan Cox Gurdon’s Book The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power if Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction. I agree with almost all of it … though not quite all. I am definitely enjoying her specific focus on reading aloud at any age.

Here’s one passage I particularly love and which reminds me again why stories - why Story - is so significant.

You read something which you thought only happened to you, and you discover that it happened one hundred years ago to Dostoyevsky. This is a very great liberation for the suffering, struggling person, who always thinks that he is alone. This is why art is important. Art would not be important if life were not important, and life is important.
— James Baldwin


Emily AkinsComment