Monday, April 27, 2009


This morning I awoke with a feeling of gratitude--thankful for a good night's rest and for the last few days in Columbia, South Carolina. I will always remember the good folks there and the wonderful event they invited me to. The Richland County Public Library's A(ugusta) Baker's Dozen pays tribute to storytelling and honors its namesake.

Augusta Baker worked in the New York Public Library system for 37 years. She held various jobs there including coordinator of children's services and storytelling specialist. In 1980 she moved to Columbia, South Carolina and became the University of South Carolina's storyteller-in-residence. She retired in 1994. Augusta Baker died on February 23, 1998, but not before witnessing A(ugusta) Baker's Dozen. One person truly can make a difference.

Augusta Baker believed in the oral approach to storytelling, the kind of stories that are passed from person to person. One of the founders of the event told me that they took her to lunch one day to discuss the event they wanted to do in honor of her. That was 23 years ago and the event has been a success every year. Each April over a thousand fourth graders from around the city gather to hear stories. Before they leave, they hear five to six stories told by librarians and a few other book-loving folks who have invested time preparing by taking storytelling workshops. Some of the stories come from books and some come from the porch. Here I am with the wonderful folks behind this great event.

That night before my talk, the Dutch Fork High School Players, a readers theater group, performed a collage of scenes from four of my books. They were beautifully woven together by their director, Dr. Cynthia Seel. Such talent in that group! I was deeply touched by their performance.

Saturday the event wrapped up outside the library with more storytelling open to the public. Who doesn't love to hear a good story?

Thank you Ginger Shuler for inviting me. Thank you Leslie Tetreault,Heather McCue, Dee Robinson, Jenny Dilworth, Laura Kennelt and everyone else who made me feel so welcome and that worked so hard. I had a blast!

A couple of weeks ago I neglected to mention that Anastasia Suen named A Pen and a Nest her Blog of the Week. Anastasia has written 114 books for young children. She has also become the Queen of Blogs, authoring several herself. How does she do it???? Thank you Anastasia for honoring my blog.

If you want to know more about Anastasia visit her website:

Anastasia Suen's website

I hope each of you experiences gratitude today.

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