Batty for Books in Dix Hills

Doug Florian, who made a visit to the Half Hollow Hills Library just in time to catch the tail end of National Poetry Month, has “the two best jobs in the world: an author and an illustrator.” Florian demonstrated his passion for his work to an audience ranging from 3-year-olds to 3rd grade teachers. “My students love your books,” a woman who teaches in Queens told Florian. “And I love you,” he replied.

The poet/painter held up prints from his many picture books while reciting his poetry by heart. His verse is already quite droll, and when it’s punctuated by a dry delivery of lines like, “Yes, I get paid to write about puke,” the result is a room full of giggles. Florian further engaged his young audience by drawing animals one stroke at a time and asking the kids to guess what he was creating. An excited youngster in blue is pictured above pumping both his fists after guessing “bat” correctly. Lisa and the guest of honor are also pictured – can you guess what two animals are pictured in the drawing behind them?

It was clear Florian had the audience’s creative juices flowing when the question and answer session included the query: “Did Jupiter get an infection of the big red chicken pox?” Florian’s response? “I’ll have to do some research.”

The library is a good place to start. Florian will always be welcome.

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Great Idea at Huntington Public Library

The next time you visit Huntington Public Library be sure to take a peek at the artwork on display in the Youth Program Room. Autographed posters, hand-written letters, and original sketches by authors and illustrators decorate the walls of the room.  Many of these pictures and letters are responses to children who have participated in a program to send authors and illustrators happy birthday wishes.

Creators of children’s books love to hear from their fans. If you implement this letter-writing idea at your library, you may just hear back from your favorite writers and artists!

At Huntington Public Library, a different children’s book creator is featured each month in the Happy Birthday Book Display by the picture book area. Norman Bridwell, Jane Yolen,  and Denys Cazet are just some of the wonderful authors who have responded and this month’s display features Mem Fox. According to staff, the letter-writing program is inspiring the children of Huntington to learn more about the people behind the story.