Books Alive!

Who are you?

Hi! I’m Norola Morgan, children’s librarian at Smith Neighborhood Library.  I’m here to talk a little bit about “Books Alive!”

What is this “Books Alive!”? Is it some infectious book-borne zombie virus we should all be aware of? Can we kill it with fire?

Books Alive! is Houston Public Library’s annual Children’s Books Celebration! It is our signature children’s event. The fun and creativity are definitely infectious, in the best possible ways.  For the last 5 years, we have invited authors and/or illustrators to Houston for a wonderful day that celebrates them, their work, and their fans.  Parts of Central Library are transformed into three dimensional, interactive art installations that bring scenes from the books alive.  This year’s event will be Saturday, May 16, 2015.  Fans will have the chance to meet the author, enjoy music by AndyRoo and the AndyRooniverse, make and take crafts, and do cool activities presented by Houston Museum of Natural Science and the Children’s Museum of Houston.  New this year will be a costume contest.  Prizes will be awarded to best costume inspired by this year’s author!

OH!  Gotcha!  Soooooooooooooooo,  who is the lucky individual this year?

Jon ScieszkaFor our 6th year, we were so fortunate to be able to snag Jon Scieszka, who might be most famous, at least among the Pre-K set, for The True Story of the Three Little Pigs and The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales.  One of the best parts of selecting the author/illustrator is doing research into their oeuvre and discovering all the interesting things they have done. I wasn’t aware of Mr. Scieszka’s Time Warp Trio series of chapter books, or his Trucktown picture book series.  It’s been fun to pull from those for inspiration for the art.  He recently created a new book series, Frank Einstein that features science, technology and general geekery.  That’s great for us, as HPL is committed to promoting STREAM – Science, Technology, Reading, Arts, and Mathematics through our programming.  It also dovetails beautifully with HPL’s Summer Reading Program theme Go Back to Invent the Future at HPL.  

Who is this “we” you speak of?  Is there actually a team, or are you using the royal “we”?

Robo Geek GirlSomething this huge requires a village!  We have a fantastic team of people who devote massive amounts of time and energy putting Books Alive! together.  HPL's Programming Department, led by Jennifer Schwartz, snags the talent and does most of the planning and working out of logistics for the event. Sara Pope, from Collier Regional Library, is instrumental in both the planning and creative aspects.  After a brainstorming session, I, Norola, create a vision for the art, and, for about 7-8 months, I guide a team of talented library employees in creating the large scale pieces for installation. 

Robo Girl

This year’s art will feature robots, a variety of dudes from the Time Warp Trio series, and 3D versions of the Three Little Pig houses. There will also be dinosaurs, a time machine, ladybugs, and lots of rain and pizza.  I know, totally random, but it all comes together in the end.  We look forward to seeing everyone!  Come get your geek on!

Saturday, May 16, 2015 | 12:15 PM – 3:30 PM
Central Library | 500 McKinney St., 77002


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