Two of the young visitors at Square Books Jr. use Private Eye jewelers loupes to examine snails and other things from my basket. This is Sallie and Julia, the daughters of fellow writer/illustrator Sarah Frances, who hails from Oxford. This is a great bookstore for settling in and browsing a terrific collection.
Here is the desk Jill set up for me to sign on. She made me sit there to read, too. You can see her pictures of that section of the event on Square Books Jr.’s Facebook page. And, here is Jill.
Before the bookstore, I went to the Oxford Public Library for a presentation for young readers. The kids had fantastic questions — about everything from snails to photography. I think Nancy Opalko, the children’s librarian, for the invitation. I also got to see Judy Card, the youth services coordinator for the First Regional Library, of which the Oxford branch is a part. I first met Nancy and Judy at the Mississippi Library Association conference last fall and wrote about it here.
I am taking Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature to Oxford, Miss., Wednesday for appearances at the Oxford Public Library and Square Books Jr. Please come see me if you are in the vicinity. The presentation at the library will be more about Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator and the reading/signing at the bookstore will focus on Growing Patterns.
On Thursday, I will be on Mississippi Public Broadcasting’s Creature Comforts Radio Show at 9 a.m. Libby Hartfield, director of the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, invited me on to talk about wolfsnails. We’ll have some time to discuss Growing Patterns, too, and topics close to my heart like photography, getting kids interested in nature, helping kids learn to take pictures, etc. I hope you’ll tune in and call in some questions.
I had a great time this morning with the Summer Reading kids in Port Gibson at the Harriet Person Memorial Library. We had a large group with a big age-range and lots of wide eyes as I talked about the wolfsnail. There were some in the audience who heard me last summer when I visited A.W. Watson Elementary School. The kids had fabulous questions — including ones about how books are put together. In this photo, I am telling them that the end papers are glued to the book’s cover. This photo was taken with my new point-and-shoot. Helen McComb took it for me. She was very helpful with all of my equipment.
There were definitely challenges in the photography department. There was a lot of natural light — from a skylight. This led the camera to believe there was enough light that it didn’t need the flash. You can see what the bright sunlight did to this photo.
Helen knew how to override the flash so she did that for this photo. When Deborah Peterkin, the assistant librarian, said the librarians were going to place names of summer readers into a box and pull a winner’s name for prizes, I decided to donate a book. If you’ll remember from yesterday, I had planned on shooting video, too, with my new Sony webbie HD. However, it malfunctioned. It did OK in the short test I shot before the kids started coming in, but went to sleep while we were waiting to begin. When Helen tried to wake it up to get it going, it wouldn’t shoot — displaying a formatting error. I was able to reformat the memory stick when I got back home, but I was not happy about the malfunction. I’ll try to use it again soon.
Does this look like a kid who several hours later would wake up with a bad earache? Poor guy. He’s got a touch of swimmer’s ear and a touch of something else in his throat and sinuses. He’s bummed because he can’t go to the pool for a few days — and it’s 97 degrees outside — but we found out our pool is going to be closed anyway for a much-needed cleaning. C’est la vie!
This is a strange photo, I’ll grant you. Richard took it using our new point-and-shoot camera. N is trying to trim the end of a wire on his braces. He didn’t succeed, but he also didn’t cut out a chunk of his cheek, which is what I was afraid of. I bought a Nikon CoolPix S560. Oftentimes, when I go places to speak and I try to hand over my camera, people are reluctant to take it. I feel like my Nikon D70 is pretty easy to use, but people are more familiar with point-and-shoot cameras.
The other reason I got it is because it is so much smaller to carry around. Most of the time I am on my own for school/library visits and I am usually carrying a netbook, a projector, extra copies of my book, bookmarks, a camera, a purse, and a water bottle. I have two rolling suitcases that I use for the heavy stuff, but I was always having to tote the camera bag. Now, I’ll just slot this into a pocket. Alright.
The other little gadget I got was a Sony Webbie. One of my goals for next year is to join the Mississippi Arts Commission‘s roster of teaching artists. I am currently on the roster of artists. In order to join the ranks of the teaching artists I must present the commission with video of me teaching children and adults. I borrowed cameras during two of my school visits this year and I got good video, but the MAC application calls for video of a specific lesson plan. I think my new camera will be just the ticket.
I’ve been considering these purchases for some time now. I decided to go ahead and get the cameras this weekend because I have a library visit tomorrow. I’ll be taking my cameras along and I’ll post some images when I get back. I’ll be at the Harriet Person Memorial Library in Port Gibson — where I grew up.