Sunday, May 22, 2011

SUPERSTARS Book Launch Party!

Last month, I had my first-ever book launch party at a very special place, my childhood library--the Forest Park Branch Library in Springfield, Massachusetts. It's where I got my first library card, where I participated in summer book clubs, and where I discovered some of my all-time favorite books.

So when the amazing Springfield librarian Jean Canosa Albano invited me to visit as an author, I jumped at the chance. We decided to throw a book party for JOE AND SPARKY, SUPERSTARS! Even if the idea did make me a teensy bit nervous. (What if nobody came? What if kids came, but didn't have enough to do? What if too many people came and I didn't have enough cupcakes and the children formed an angry mob?)

But then I reminded myself that part of being an author is being eternally and unapologetically optimistic, and so I planned and prepared and harassed all of my family and friends on facebook and guess what? People came. We had lots of fun. And there were enough cupcakes for everyone.

Thanks to all who joined the party and thank you, Forest Park Branch Library!

Set up and ready. Will anyone show up? Will I sit here alone with 100 cupcakes looking like Minnie Pearl? Only time will tell.
Hooray, they're here!

Desperately trying to pay attention to someone as my son wildly boogies on down next to me. (Keep smiling, keep smiling.)

In case the lollipop and sunglasses did not tip you off, he's kind of a big deal.
Disappearing cupcakes.

A little pre-Hokey Pokey reading to the star-studded crowd. (Those may or may not be jazz hands.)

The heckling giraffe.

A cute baby.

Crafty kids making puppets.

These gentlemen take their puppet-making seriously.

Click here to read an article about the event.

Superstar Artists to the Rescue!

Fact: It is not easy to find a giraffe costume for a 230-pound, 6' 3" man.

I discovered this fact last month while searching for a giraffe costume for my husband. He ever so kindly volunteered to dress as Joe for the JOE AND SPARKY, SUPERSTARS! book launch party. But the only costume I could find was this little number. Sadly, we quickly realized that a 230-pound, 6' 3" man wearing yellow facepaint and an incomplete giraffe costume would terrify small children.

On to Plan B: a carnival cut-out. You know, one of these things:

I tried to get my crafty on and make one on my own. Several disastrous attempts and six Exact-o blades later, I was forced to create a Plan C. But time was running out! What to do???

Luckily, the Superstar Artists of Taravella High School in Coral Springs, Florida came to the rescue. (It helps to have friends in sunny places.) Just LOOK at what they did!
Our Superstar Artists carefully planning, measuring, and sketching.

Adding color to Joe & Sparky's Superflash 5000.

The finishing touches to Joe's fruit hat.

A few of the talented artists with their teacher, Susan Anderson.

Voila! The masterpiece is done. Ready to be rolled up and shipped from Florida to Rhode Island. (Then I'd have to rubber cement the art to cardboard and carefully cut out those cute heads. Yikes!)

(Rebecca, Joel, Domingo, Dylan, and Ali)

Party time! Click play to see the finished cut-out & funny friends at the JOE AND SPARKY, SUPERSTARS! book launch party:

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Giveaways for Superstar Teachers & Librarians!

Hey, Teachers, Librarians, and other Swell Children's Programmers . . . Joe and Sparky are giving you the Superstar treatment in honor of their book launch!

Educator & Librarian Giveaway!  Enter here before 6/15/11 for a chance to win one of Joe and Sparky's books.

Activity Kit!  Three madcap activities for public librarians, school librarians, educators, and other swell children's programmers. Download it for free here.

Thanks to the brilliant Kirsten Cappy at Curious City for creating all of the above!