Please help - public reading of my book in our library
I really need some help, because I'm freaking out a little bit. My first book is finally out in the world and... the public library in our town would like me to preform first reading of the book. (I did both - the text and the illustrations).
The problem is, the book has only about 270 words in it, it's mostly images... So, the actual reading would take about two minutes. But the event should be at least one hour long! I never was at some kind of a similar event before, so I have absolutely no idea, what could I do and how should I interact with the audience.
There should be parents with their children, the library would like me present and sign the books...
Honestly, I'm really glad and everything, but mostly terrified. What if it will be disaster?
Does anyone have some experiences with book reading and signing?
Thank you all for your time, any responses will be much appreciated!
Oh man, I gave a 5-min speech about my career once and THAT seemed way too long! From my experience, story time was reading a few picture books, then doing an activity.
Remember to breathe so you don't breeze through the material too fast! Take a minute to introduce yourself, what inspired you to make this story. Read the text but also try to engage the kids with the pictures. Ask what's happening or point out how the character's feeling or some other detail. An example is when I watched someone read One Dog Canoe, they would point out how low in the water the canoe was getting as more and more animals got into it. You could write down a couple easy questions to ask the kids at the end (I don't know the story, but "what would you do if a rabbit lived in your hair?" would get some giggles and such), then smile and announce that you'll be signing and answering other questions now. Most of your time is just being available.
You can do it! Congrats on getting to present your book!
Congrats! What a special event for you and your new book!
The first step is the most difficult and that is to try and relax. You will do great!
The next step is planning. Since you did the text and illustrations, there is a whole host of things you can do. You can talk about how you came up with your idea. Blow up some sketches and early stages of the project to show. (Or projectors work great for presentations, the library may already have one).
Then you can read the book. While you are reading you can point out things in the book. Narrative elements, drawing elements, Color choices, etc.
Then, the fun part. Come up with an activity around your book. It can be a "how to draw" type activity of one of your characters or animals in the book. Or, you can print out a couple of blank spreads with the words on them and have the kids illustrate a page or two. You walk around and help them with that.
So, there is a lot of stuff you can do. I wouldn't worry if it doesn't fill the whole hour. Just have fun and enjoy the experience.
@mag Congrats! Your book looks very appealing :-)
Like I always say, when you don't know something... google it. :) You can try and look up videos on youtube on how storytellers read a picture book. While reading your book, go slow. Try to ask the children some questions relating to your book. For example: "Who has a cat in their house?" And things of the sort. Children will most likely be more than eager to answer you. I'm sure that'll lengthen up your storytelling time. I hope this helps
Marsha Kay Ottum Owen
I have never read a book in the library though I did do a classroom visit with an author once. The teache had the book projected on the wall and read it and talked about it. For an activity (the book was an ABC Counting book using animals) I made an alphabet out of the animals for each letter as a hand out. The kids all wrote their name with the animal letters and colored them. They seemed to really enjoy it. The author talked about how she came to write it and urged them not to give up on their dreams.
Mostly I just want to say, congratulations and that your book looks so cute! I love all the little animals hiding :-)
I go to the story time at my local library for toddlers and they like it as interactive as possible. I didn’t see an age range listed for your book but you could check out your local book retailers like Barnes and Noble and other shops... and libraries... almost all of them do regular readings for different age groups, and you can get ideas there. For the tots, our library does a lot of sing alongs with hand gestures, poses lots of questions, asks for counts, colors, what happens next, etc, And then they do an art project associated w the theme for the day. I’d ask the children’s librarian for help and he/she can help you plan for the group. Make sure the hour is just you... that seems like an incredibly long time for one book reading even with activities. Wondering if they neglected to mention that maybe you’re only a part of that day’s agenda.
Best of luck!
Hi everyone! I just wanted to thank you all for your great advices!!! :)
It all went well, the library was full of kids, which was fun. I've prepared some coloring sheets with characters from the book for them, so they could color and have some fun while I was talking about how picture books are made.
I was really nervous at the beginning, but I made my friends to come over and seeing them there helped a lot.
Thanks again! And have a great winter :)
Great job! Congratulations on your successes!