"Meet the Author Day"

at the Irvington Public Library

The Children's Department of the Irvington Public Library hosted, as one of its Black History Month events, a special "Meet the Author Day" on Saturday, February 12th, 2011. The event featured different African-American children’s authors from the local community.

Photo by Wiz Kid Wilhelmina

The Wiz Kids got to the library early so while the audience was waiting for the event to begin, Wiz Kid Qua-Fiki did some rope tricks and a rope escape for the children. He is working on a new book called "Escapes For Teens," but it won't be published until later this year.

Photo by Wiz Kid Wilhelmina

Then the head Children's Librarian, Nnenna Chima, introduced each of the authors that were participating in the event.

Photo by Wiz Kid Wilhelmina

The first author presented spoke about Autism. Rasheeda Saleem-Muhammad, author of Pedro's Visit to the Aquarium read from her book about the problems that children with disabilities face. She answered questions about autism and asked the children of the audience to imagine what it must be like, and how they should treat other children who have such disabilities, with dignity and respect.

Photo by Wiz Kid Wilhelmina

T. S. Bradshaw, author and illustrator of “The Goodees” , a series of books that teach children different world languages, gave information about African American history as it relates to children's literature. Students were given opportunities to show their skills speaking different languages as she gave them a chance to take turns counting to four in Mandarin Chinese and other language challenges.

Photo by Wiz Kid Wilhelmina

Wiz Kid Jim Gerrish, a director of The Wiz Kids Inc. of East Orange, NJ, presented donations of children's magic books to the librarian because during an earlier visit to the library, he had noticed there were very few magic books available in the children's section.

Photo by Wiz Kid Ee-Gee-Fiki

Before Author Wiz Kid Qua-Fiki showed his book, he performed a few magic Go Fish Card Tricks from the book. The book that he presented to the librarian requires that she do some magic of her own, otherwise the pages are blank and only contain the rules of magic. But any young reader who can memorize the three rules of magic and prove to the librarian that they are ready to see the magic tricks contained in the book can have her wave their magic library card over the blank book and it will be filled with color photos, drawings, diagrams and secrets of how to do the tricks that Qua-Fiki showed them this day. To see additional photos of Wiz Kid Qua-Fiki's magic show, click HERE.

Photo by Wiz Kid Wilhelmina

The last author of the event was Antoinette Gelin, educator from East Orange and author of “Dream Princess.” She was working on a new book and she described how she wrote and illustrated her books, taking the children through the steps from storyboard to publishing. The children paid rapt attention, no doubt dreaming of the possibilities in becoming an author or illustrator some day.

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