Had a grand adventure last Saturday in my C.A. Hartnell booth at the Vegas Valley Book Festival on the grounds of the Historic 5th Street School located near Downtown Las Vegas, Nevada. Anyone visiting the book festival could testify that Las Vegas is not just a gambling town! It’s a real community of families who care about their kids. My sister Gail, two friends, and I observed that parents loved bringing their children to a wonderful and wholesome event that encouraged them to read. Visitors were charmed by the fabulous books for sale in many different booths and the friendly vendors who gave away educational information.

At my 1950s-style booth, life-sized cutouts Kitty Lee and Baddy Cat, both characters in my Cool Cats Coloring Book, welcomed festival visitors to enter their special space. Children lined up to get a photo in front of my Dan’s Diner backdrop flanked by the Cool Cats. Lovely twins, Mollie and Jackie, dressed in pink poodle skirts and black leather jackets took instant photos of each kiddo. The child then glued their photo to a foam square and liberally decorated it with glittering foam hearts, stars, music notes plus other assorted shapes. It was great to watch so many happy kids attaching their individual photo crafts to lanyards then each one picking out a free Cool Cats Coloring Book or one of my four historical fiction chapter books about the 1950s. The scene took me back to good times in my own childhood.

I’d like to thank Wish Read, Miss Green Valley’s Outstanding Teen, for stopping by the booth and visiting us. It makes me happy to see such a young person so involved in our community!

A simple craft and free books delighted children and parents who left my booth smiling and saying “thank you” while I thanked them back. We all shared lots of fun and happiness. At day’s end, the Vegas Valley Book Festival wasn’t about me as an author or about selling my books but being part of bringing joy and giving back to my community with a 1950s “blast to the past.” And the adventure continues!