Tuesday, October 29, 2013

It was a very good party - Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table by Jacqueline Briggs Martin

How to Launch a Book in Style

Introducing Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table by Jacqueline Briggs Martin involved two great days and two great parties.  It's always interesting to me how setting (as in books and real life) really does have an impact on the events that take place.
Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table is now available to purchase.  Since the time the book parties were announced this book has received a number of great reviews and accolades including a great review from Kirkus Reviews "This worthy collaboration reveals how one man’s vision of food for all has inspired an amazing life of service," and a starred review from Booklist.
Eric-Shabazz Larkin has created a video and posted it on Vimeo.  He takes viewers on a picture walk through the book and shares his thoughts about what he likes about the book and makes some comments about his own illustrations.  You can view this video Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table - Book on Vimeo at http://vimeo.com/70377470.

But back to the parties -- the first one was held on Saturday, October 13 and took place at the New Bo Bookstore in the New Bo District (The Czech Village/New Bohemia Main Street District) in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

There were books and cake and interested young readers and many adults present -- all to cheer on the new book about a man who began a movement to farm in urban areas.  He began his work in Milwaukee, and his daughter supervises another urban farm in Chicago.  Allen has traveled across the country and to other countries to share his ideas.  On this day, during this party, Jacqueline was able to talk to young readers (and their parents and friends) about this man through her book Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table.  
Jacqueline read the book to eager listeners and then shared an idea for a mobile that children could make to show off the vegetables that could grow in their own gardens.  After the children made their mobiles, and the adults had a chance to talk about the book.  We all enjoyed a piece of the cake, collected Jackie's autograph on books sold, and talked about books some more.
Enjoying the cake -- the first pieces.
Fellow book writers and illustrators: Claudia McGehee, Jackie, and Jeni Reeves

Posing for a picture after getting an autograph.

Thinking and talking and celebrating the new book.

The second party took place the very next day, but this party moved out to the country at the Abbe Hills Farm -- the atmosphere was a departure from the first party.  At this party we enjoyed tastes of the vegetables from the farm: salsa made from fresh tomatoes, onions, and peppers; roasted new potatoes; tiny vegetable sandwiches.  Jackie shared the book with a hay rack full of children, and adults who listened too.  Books were available to read, children were able to visit the fields (traveling the distance on a tractor pulled hay rack) and gathered vegetables from the soil -- and then there was another cake.  A great time. 

Jen and Deb from the Bookhouse in Marion, Iowa talk to
Jackie and Rich Martin -- The Bookhouse has a good stock of
Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table.

Reading beside the farm wagon -- grassy fields, open air--
every place is a great place to read.
Earlier related posts:
Announcement of the parties:  http://bit.ly/book_farm
Review by Betsy Bird on the SLJ blog: http://bit.ly/Fuse8_WillAllen
Jackie Martin's book page for Will Allen:  http://www.jacquelinebriggsmartin.com/books/allen.html

McBookwords arranges appearances by authors/illustrators in libraries, school, other literature forums. We are now booking Jacqueline's appearances for 2013-2014, and in addition McBookwords has a dozen or more authors that speak with young readers. If you would like to investigate having Jacqueline or any other author visit your school or library -- for an author appearance please contact us at McBookwords. Each of these authors often speak in schools with young readers, and at all types of groups that are interested in literacy and books. Authors/illustrators can provide so much in terms of background and inspiration for reading and writing. smc