Sunday, December 07, 2008



On Saturday, December 6, a number of us braved the newly fallen snow and congregated at the Nelson Municipal Library for the second annual Books for Kids fundraiser. Left to right: Olindo Chiocca, Art Joyce, Fred Rosenberg, Ernest Hekkanen, Ross Klatte, Anne DeGrace, Linda Crosfield, Cyndi Sand-Eveland, and Yuki.

Fred Rosenberg was MC. Nobody gives out door prize books (donated by the Nelson Municpal Library) like Fred.

Readers' names were thrown in Fred's hat so the order was completely random. Here, Cyndi Sand-Eveland does the honours.

First up was Ross Klatte.

Next was Sean Arthur Joyce, known around these parts as Art.

I got third spot, right before the intermission.

Everybody's laughing, probably at something Fred said.

Yuki entertains during the intermission.

The second half of the program began with Anne DeGrace, who is the South East Region's representative for the Federation of BC Writers.

She was followed by Ernest Hekkanen.

Cyndi Sand-Eveland read from her recently published YA novel, Dear Toni. I bought a copy from the book table, lovingly presided over by Margrith Schraner, and I just finished reading it. I got Cyndi to sign it for me, and when I opened the book last night I noted the cute—and quickly drawn, I might add—picture of a dog beside her signature. As I have trouble drawing stick figures, I was impressed, but then I started to read the book and realized that ALL the doodles within are Cyndi's, too. I'd have loved the story when I was a kid—heck, I love it now. I started reading it to my grandson, who is right into it. He really likes the drawings, too.

Olindo Chiocca, who organized all this, did an impromptu reading from his Dinner Wit Da Dons cookbook (which has some great recipes in it to go with all the stories).

Thanks to the generosity of two local book stores, Otter Books in Nelson and Jennie's Book Garden in Winlaw, as well as to the people who came out to the reading, books will be packed into Christmas hampers as well as food.

Just in case you've any doubts that books are important to kids, here's a story from the NY Times about a teacher in Colombia who, every week for the past decade, has loaded the packs on his two burros with books for children and traveled around the countryside doling them out and reading to kids while he's at it. I got the link from Yann Martel's website, What is Stephen Harper Reading, which I check regularly to see what treasures our PM has been receiving but not acknowledging. I wonder what he has his minions do with the books? I wonder if they even get opened, never mind read.


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