Today, after a longtime Internet friendship with kid lit author Sam Riddleburger, I had a chance to experience him live and in person at his book reading and signing at Bull Run Regional Library in Manassas.
I say "experience" because a morning with Sam is truly an experience. He and his "Stonewall Hinkleman and the Battle of Bull Run" co-author Michael Hemphill kept a room chock-full of kids (mostly boys, no less) rapt for about an hour and a half.
If ever someone decides to open a Kid Lit Improv, Sam and Michael will make their fortune.
Great stuff ... check it out:
Who says boys aren't into books? These kids were all over that Stonewall Hinkleman action!
They had juggling ...
and dramatic readings ...
and a flag making contest.
And that wasn't all! Sam and Michael held some other cool contests, including:
- A Bugle Blowing Contest - The winner burped mid-blow. Of course Sam couldn't resist rewarding this gross and hilarious move. (Sam's first published kid's book is about a poop fountain. Need I say more?)
- A Hard Tack Eating Contest - Eight brave kids agreed to try this Civil War soldiers' staple. The consensus seemed to be that it tasted like dog food and/or dog biscuits. Disturbing. (OK, yes, I tried dog food when I was a kid, too. Once.)
- A Civil War Quiz - The winner not only answered all five of the regular quiz questions correctly but also managed to answer the bonus question ("Who is buried in Grant's tomb?") doubly correctly by writing "Grant and his wife." Hah! I did not know that.
their parents were lining up to buy the book!
Afterward, Sam and Michael signed books and bookmarks.
Check out the little cutie in the soldier's uniform!
Overall, a great way to recognize the anniversary of the Battle of Bull Run and introduce kids to a fun book. I'll end this post the way I ended my review of Stonewall Hinkleman: Well done, lads. Well done!