Second-annual One Book Two Book: A Huge Success

CuriousGeorge One Book Two Book 2013

The second-annual One Book Two Book children’s literature festival from the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature is now in the books. We would like to thank our presenting sponsor, the Pearson Foundation, as well as the dozens of volunteers, vendors, authors and sponsors who made the event a success.

We kicked off the weekend with our Once Upon a Time… dinner at the Sheraton. It began with a welcome to the 300 attendees from some costumed book characters, followed by inspiring readings by students from 21 Iowa City-area elementary schools. These students were selected by leaders at their schools, and read pieces they had written based on the prompt, “Once Upon a Time I Had the Most Amazing Dream.” We then presented awards to 18 more students, who were given grade-level recognition for their writing. These pieces were selected by local Pearson judges from among 900 submissions, also written in response to the “dream”-based prompt. First- and second-place awards were presented for students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

All 39 pieces can be found in a book created by Pearson and available for $1 from the City of Literature office.  You can view the pieces online here.

The evening ended with a keynote by Nancy Krulik, the bestselling author of the Katie Kazoo Switcheroo and George Brown Class Clown series. Nancy shared the story behind her creations, and encouraged the children in the audience to look for inspiration in their own dreams.

Saturday was jam-packed with activities. We began with a visit from Iowa Public Television’s Dan Wardell, who got things started with an interactive story time. Other activities filled the lower level of the Sheraton, with our book fair filling the ballroom while things like toy train time, a Carnaval mask-making demonstration and skits from the Iowa Children’s Museum kept kids entertained.

Our 10 visiting authors presented throughout the day, drawing crowds to the Iowa City Public Library. Things began with some “reader’s theater” during Nancy Krulik’s reading, and on through presentations by area authors and illustrators, including Anne Ylvisaker, Wendy Delsol, Jennifer Black Reinhardt and Sarah Prineas.

A new event, the Junior High Writing Jam, drew 25 young writers to the Wedge in downtown Iowa City, where they worked with volunteers from the Iowa Youth Writing Project and then read their work.

Sunday brought the festival to a close with another new event, Off the Page: Children’s Favorite Storybook Professions Come to Life. At the Iowa City, Coralville and North Liberty libraries, people who hold a number of professions often depicted in children’s books – firefighters, bakers, engineers, pilots, athletes and others – read those stories to kids and then talked about what they do and how they do it.

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