The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books: A Review (and the Discovery of the Weebeasts)

Over the weekend, Charlie and I braved the heat and traffic (arghh) to make the scene at the 13th Annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at UCLA (University of California at Los Angeles). We'd never been before, so we didn't know what we were getting ourselves into, which turned out to be a very large, very hot, very corporate experience. My aim was to enjoy the festival and meet some good people.

Here's more of a snapshot, rather than a review...

First of all, this festival is very large. The kids' section had a few different stages and many booths where authors were signing their books. There were many more booths selling books. It was really a big merchandising effort with different companies hawking their education-related programs, et cetera. The mass-merchandising was a bit of a let-down, but at the same time, there were lots of people buying books for their children, so that was great. I felt a little sorry for the performers, though, out there on the open-air stages performing in full sun, especially those with face paint. Yikes!

As is always the case, we met some very nice people, and that's what really makes the experience. A great guy at the Children's Museum of Los Angeles' booth spent time with Charlie and I, giving Charlie much praise for his art project and information on the long-awaited opening of the new Museum.

Other Great Stuff on!

Stuff To Make
Gathered from all over the web: Free, fun and easy (and quick) stuff to make inspired by and linked to various stories on Spark up your imagination and creativity and start (and complete) a "StoryRhyme StoryProject" today.

Stuff to See
Wonderful and whimsical stuff to see, places to visit and things to do. Gathered from all over the web; inspired by and linked to various stories on Let's go on an adventure!

The Stories
Original modern and unexpected classic children's short stories, all with linked activities...

Later we were drawn to an elaborately-decorated booth that we just had to investigate. We met author/illustrator Micah Linton, and his lovely wife Sheila, and learned so much about a subject we knew nothing about. Micah is an authority, an expert really, on Weebeasts and has written and published two books about them: "Weebeasts Book One: Origins," and "Weebeasts Book Two: Plight." Just what are Weebeasts..? "Weebeasts are known by many names in different regions around the world. Gremlins, Pixie, Goblin, Elf, Troll, Gnome."

Weebeasts Book One: Origins.

"Weebeasts," written as an epic poem, will appeal to those children who have an adventurous side; those who'd like to travel to far-off lands and learn about ancient civilizations. Charlie definitely falls into that camp, and, after reading the first book, is ready for the second. (While I read it as an allegory about colonialism and the subjugation of indigenous peoples, the target audience will just think it's cool.) Micah's illustrations are so inventive and unique, I tip my hat to him (well, I would if I wore a hat).

Visit the Weebeasts website to see their page-by-page illustrations. Sound interesting..? You'll want to check out the Unexpected Classic "Uncle James, or the Purple Stranger" where people ride about on gigantic guinea pigs and keep tiny lap-dog-sized elephants as pets. This unexpected classic is entertaining and, well, unexpected. Or, how about our Unexpected Classic "The Book of Beasts," written 100 years before Harry Potter was born. This Edith Nesbit story will entertain those of you who have a fondness for the fanciful; dragons, hippogriffs and manticores.

HTML Comment Box is loading comments...