Bookish Details around Philly

The main reason we went to Philadelphia is because of books….And when you travel because of books you are rarely let down. Stacy and I ended up in  Uncle Bobbie’s Shop, a book store in Germantown after visiting the Lest We Forget Slavery Museum.

Some of the books I came across that I made a note to purchase.

Below, Stacy and I smiling with Mrs. Ragsdale, the director of the Lest We Forget Slavery Museum. She gave us a very informative tour. The tour changed the way I see the world and how I see myself. Learning about the slave trade and the atrocities of it, did something to my joyous spirit for the rest of the weekend. Stacy kept asking me, What happened?

I realize when one begin to dig into history, one have to be ready for the good, the bad and the ugly. That was the first time I visited a museum and actually cried.

 

As mentioned before in a previous blog, we also visited the African American History Museum which was rich with history but a totally different experience.

Philadelphia prides itself in being the forerunner in Black Press. In 1884, Christopher Perry published the  Philadelphia Tribune making it the oldest black paper in the United States.  IMG_2324

The street newsstand…IMG_2315

Right before we ate, we caught the last few hours of the children’s book fair. Where we met authors and Illustrators, Nikki Grimes, Renee Watson, Carole Boston Weatherford, Eric Velasquez, Tami Charles and Floyd Cooper.

 

Javaka Steptoe

While volunteering at the New York Public Library, I became interested in children’s literature. Almost every week I was reading a new book to a new child. Every child I worked with, was able to pick out a book of their interest for me to read to them.

It didn’t take long for my journal to be filled with children author’s, illustrators, and photographers. When the year was up and I started to work, I missed working with children and reading children books. To fill this void, I contacted all the artist that I could, offering my services for almost nothing but experience in return.

Javaka Steptoe, an African-American children’s book artist, replied to my email almost immediately. We begin working together.

A little after I began to work for him, his recent book, Jimi: Sounds like a Rainbow, (written by Gary Golio and Illustrated by Javaka Steptoe) was listed on The New York Times Best seller list.

Working with Steptoe gave me a better view of the “children book world” and has allowed me to meet legendary artist like himself. Some of them assumed that I was also an illustrator or at least an author. Well, not yet.

One of the most exciting  book events I’ve been to so far happen at the beginning of this month.

I was blessed to attend the 19th Annual African-American Children’s book fair held in the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the Community College of Philadelphia gymnasium.

As a little girl, I always enjoyed going to book fairs.  However, I never been to one as grand as this one.

For starters, there were a good amount of authors and illustrators there to meet the children: Javaka Steptoe, Sean Qualls, Bryan Collier, and Renee Watson just to name a few.

Imagine being in third grade and meeting the person who wrote your favorite book? I didn’t even imagine that when I was a third grader. There was also gifts for the children which I think the kids enjoyed the most.

I enjoy working with Steptoe and look forward to more projects in the future.

Pictured here is Me, the Orange, and Steptoe
(Steptoe left an apple, a banana, a pear, a orange and a bottle of water on the table during the fair….these hungry kids came by and asked for everything…I kept the water and Steptoe kept his orange.)