Wednesday, November 26, 2008
The Many Voices Multicultural Bookfair on November 22 was a blast of color, children, art, laughter: something for all the senses, including the intoxicating aroma of dumplings. Sponsored by CAFAM, the Chinese American Friendship Association of Maine, this event brings together a mindboggling array of books from cultures around the world, and many perspectives right here. Breakwater School houses the Saturday morning Chinese School, recently featured in a beautiful piece in Port City Life Magazine.
The crowd was full of energetic kids running amongst various activities like face painting, origami, and balloon animals. I was to sign copies of Rickshaw Girl so I brought along some art supplies to draw and invite others to draw with me.
The children were pretty irresistible.
Caught this girl on the fly with her balloon.
I started to draw a little girl getting her face painted, directly opposite my table.
The girl drawing at my table wanted me to draw HER. One thing led to another, and I found myself drawing quickie portraits of several children, mostly those concentrating on their own drawings right in front of me. I like to draw people, but the pressure was intense. I came away with a wonderful exchange of drawings, though.
Many voices, indeed!
Right beside me, the award-winning author/illustrator Cathryn Falwell was folding origami and tasting the dumplings, which were divine. I gobbled some myself and kept drawing.
We both took time to browse the books, a slice of diversity not usually seen in one place, thanks to Curious City and the sage talents of Kirsten Cappy. It was hard choosing just a few. So many amazing titles.
I was tickled to receive a gorgeous book bag, courtesy of CAFAM, with the stunning art of Betsy Thompson.
This is an event that shows color in all its glory. Hooray for Many Voices!