Capital Bookfest Harrisburg at the circular State Museum of Pennsylvania next to the domed Pennsylvania State Capital building, was first. The day was sunny and cool, the park along the wide Susquehanna River was full of walkers, joggers and bikers, and dozens of white arches were marching across the river supporting bridges like Roman aqueducts.
At the festival we were privileged to meet many fascinating authors as well as Harrisburg Mayor Linda D. Thompson and other dignitaries, Capital Bookfest Producer and nationally known poet, playwright, and publisher Kwame Alexander, and many wonderful people from Harrisburg and the surrounding area.
We started by getting acquainted with the authors at tables on each side of us: Jewell Powell, a marriage coach from Indianhead, MD, exhibiting Marriage 101 until she had to leave to be part of the “Relationships” panel, and on the other side, Jonathan Z. Queen with his books Are You S.A.N.E. and Don’t Blame Me. What we liked most at his table, however, was his children’s book The COOL Way to Start Your Day, which he wrote in English and Spanish. The illustrations in this picture book were super and we enjoyed several conversations with the illustrator, Courtland Murray of Twizted Graphics. Nearby I met Moses T. Alexander Greene, bestselling author, correspondent, and educator, also from Maryland, with his inspirational book, FOUGHT to be THIS happy. Barbara had a conversation with Michael Sgrignoli about children and dinosaurs. He was selling his book, Dinorific Poetry, illustrated by his son Ethan at age seven. Barbara told Michael that we had recently become acquainted with the Maryland State Dinosaur, Astrodon Johnstoni when reading historical markers after our pontoon boat ride on the Anacostia (See earlier post, “A Heron on the Anacostia”). She also told him about the “Dino” song on the CD “Imagine That” by Rick and Audrey Engdahl. Audrey is the cover illustrator for both Well Considered and Cologne No. 10 for Men, and a songwriter and musician besides. You can see her website and listen to the Dino song and others by clicking through the Illustrator widget in the right column. Barbara talked with Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond who wrote Powder Necklace, a novel about a teenager who was sent to school in her parents’ native Ghana. This reminded us of the book The House at Sugar Beach (see my 8/31 post “Why we read …)” We both talked with Noni Carter, a Harvard student and author of Good Fortune, and Pete Trabucco, America’s Top Roller Coasters and Amusement Parks. Best of all, we spoke with many, many attendees who came by our table all day long and enjoyed showing them (and, in some cases, selling them) our brand-new reprints of Well Considered, which arrived just before we left and which contain some exciting reviews on the back cover and the first three inside pages.