Ryan Drennan, 9, reads during a lecture in downtown Steamboat Springs. It may say something negative about a speaker elsewhere, but at the Book Feast festival at Bud Werner Memorial Library, reading a book by Avi while Avi is speaking goes down as a big compliment.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Ryan Drennan, 9, reads during a lecture in downtown Steamboat Springs. It may say something negative about a speaker elsewhere, but at the Book Feast festival at Bud Werner Memorial Library, reading a book by Avi while Avi is speaking goes down as a big compliment.

Steamboat's children's author festival a scrumptious success

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— In Ingrid Law’s Newbery Honor-winning children’s book “Savvy,” every child finds out they have a special supernatural gift when they turn 13.

In Law’s fantasy world, those savvys could be controlling the weather or moving mountains, but even in the small world of Steamboat Springs, Law hopes local students find their savvy within themselves after a day of workshops with well-known children’s authors like herself, Avi, Caroline Stutson, Sneed Collard and others.

“I hope they can take away that I’m just a normal person just like them,” Law said. “If they’re excited about meeting the authors … we just did what we loved and found a way to share it with the world.”

Eleven-year-old Delaney Ziegman already knows writing is her calling. She attended the first-ever Children’s Book Feast author festival on Saturday, which featured 12 authors, illustrators and storytellers, to connect one-on-one with some of her heroes.

“Ingrid Law is so cool,” she said. “You can just tell she’s a genius.”

Delaney also got the chance to stretch her writing wings by experimenting with poetry in Caroline Stutson’s "Playing With Words" workshop and moved with a purpose in a workshop with the Bunkport Theater Company.

“I’ve met lots of new people,” she said.

The festival took place Friday evening and all day Saturday, drawing more than 150 children — with parents in tow — to a multi-dimensional arts and literature festival at Bud Werner Memorial Library and the Depot Art Center.

A collaboration among the library, the Steamboat Springs Arts Council, Off the Beaten Path Bookstore and the Steamboat Springs School District, organizers began planning the event six months ago.

Bud Werner Memorial Library youth services librarian Sarah Kostin said Saturday that the event had been a huge success, and the hard work was well worth it for the eager smiles on the faces of hundreds of children.

“It’s so much fun,” she said. “I finally got the chance to sit down and listen to the authors. … I went to Janet Stevens’ workshop and my stomach hurt from laughing so much. It gives me so much joy.”

Playing in the storytime room during lunch hour were four young friends with painted faces throwing seat cushions around the room. Nine-year-old Lauren Parks said she’d gotten author Avi’s autograph and a free CD of a sampling of his books. She also painted rocks and made bird feeders.

“I think it’s really cool,” she said. “I think we should do it every year.”

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@ExploreSteamboat.com

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