Monday, May 9, 2011

Los Angeles Times Book Festival

Family Events

Annual LA Event Entertains, Educates Kids & Adults: Ages 1 - 100

Dog Reading Wearing Glasses
Little Bear, Star of the movie First Dog, at the Los Angeles Festival of Books at USC
Photo by My Daughter, Mini MommyBlogExpert,

I'm still on a high after the recent 16th Annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books which took place April 30 - May 1.  I've been attending every year since the first event at UCLA before I had kids and last year I covered the Fresh Beat Band 's live appearance at this Los Angeles Times book festival for this blog.

My Daughter, Mini MommyBlogExpert at the 2011 Festival at USC
iPhone Photo by Janis Brett Elspas,

There was some chaos and confusion this year at the two-day fest as well as parking issues.  I think that could likely be attributed to the event's first year at the new location at USC near downtown L.A.  Even still, my kids and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  In fact, we spent the whole day there, staying till this free book lovers' mega event closed at 5 p.m.

There was truly something to discover for every generation here: kids (babies, toddlers, or school-age), tweens and teens, parents with children of every age, adults without kids, grandparents, and even great grandparents.  With eight outdoor stages and the glorious Southern California weather that weekend, it was so hard to choose between the one-show only events going on simultaneously.  

The Ben & Jerry's full-size ice cream giveaway on a sweltering hot weekend day to thousands at the event was a delectable treat for young and old alike, for sure. Though this had nothing to do with books, B&Js were there to pass out free samples of their new flavors available exclusively at Target which was a major sponsor of the event.

Ben Jerry's Ice Cream Server Juggling
Juggling Ben & Jerry's Server
iPhone Photo by Janis Brett Elspas,

So many (hundreds) really intriguing panel discussions were available to attend, too, with some of the world's premiere authors like R.L. Stine (Goosebumps).  There were also talks by journalists, such as popular L.A. Times columnist, Steve Lopez.  

As a Baby Boomer who grew up on black and white TV, Sunday was the perfect day to attend the event.  That's because I found the conversation on stage between my favorite L.A. Times writer Mary McNamara and Jeannie Out of the Bottle author and actress Barbara Eden of 1960's I Dream of Jeannie fame a real thrill.

Barbara Eden LA Times Book Festival
Barbara Eden on the L.A. Times Stage at the Festival
Photo by My Daughter, Mini MommyBlogExpert,

There were also hundreds of authors who made personal appearances for book signings, too.  That's on top of all the interesting and diverse exhibitor booths to visit showcasing books, book-related items, and even movies based on books coming out this summer -- like Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer

Heads up:  I'm working on a separate post now based on my interviews with author and creator of the Judy Moody book series, Megan McDonald, and several members of the cast of this film which scheduled for release June 10.  So, look for that story with more photos really soon on this blog.

Judy Moody Kids Movie Props
Zany Props on Display from the Judy Moody Movie
iPhone Photo by Janis Brett Elspas,

New in 2011, bringing the L.A. book festival fully into the hi tech age, was The Times first mobile interactive guide for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and Android.  This app was developed to help attendees explore and enjoy everything the weekend had to offer from their hand-held devices.

Mobile App That Was New to the Festival This Year
iPhone Photo by Janis Brett Elspas,

About the L.A. Times Festival of Books
This festival was created in 1996 to promote literacy, celebrate the written word, and bring together book creators with the audiences who love to read them.  The 2011 event was presented in association with USC, presenting sponsor Target, major sponsors Buick and GMC, and official ticketing vendor Eventbrite.

FTC Disclosure:  I covered the L.A. Times Festival of Books as a credentialed media member.  I did not receive any payment or other compensation related to this post.   See complete FTC Disclosure information that appears at the bottom of MommyBlogExpert's main page and at the bottom of every individual post on this blog, including this one.

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