Word on the Street T.O. 2012 Recap

The setting: a sunny, though slightly cold, day in Queen’s Park, Toronto.

The characters: hundreds of literary-minded people

The conflict: Is it, or is it not, going to rain?

I have a confession. Before last weekend, I had never been to Word on the Street. GASP! I know! But after yesterday, I will definitely be making this literary festival a yearly outing. And why not? It’s FREE!

My friend C. and I arrived just after 11:00am and quickly located the information booth where we were given a map and program. There was a brief moment when we read the map backwards (it happened to be here that someone asked us for directions… Sorry whoever you were!), but we got back on track and headed out to see what all the festival had to offer.

Tents and people stretched in both directions as far as you could see. We listened in on a couple different panels and readings. There were some fantabulous sales on books. One children’s book booth was selling the Mr. Man and Little Miss series at eight books for $20 and it took a great deal of my will-power not to buy a whole stack of them. The HarperCollins tent had books for $3 and under! I bought a copy of Lauren Oliver’s Liesl and Po in hardcover. Selling the books were some familiar faces from HCC: Jason and Shannon. We shouted our hellos over the throng of swarming book-buyers. You needed good sharp elbows to get to the front of that crowd, I tell you.

A Hobbit tent was set up nearby playing the new trailer. I nabbed a movie poster for The Hobbit, some hobbit food (a honey stick) and some tips on throwing a hobbit party.

Then we headed to KidStreet where all of the children’s book authors, publishers and vendors were. We had some fun at the Neil Flambé tent where we received chef’s hats signed and illustrated by Kevin Sylvester.

Me as Neil Flambe

Neil Flambe chef hats

The sun held long enough for us to sit on the lawn and eat roasted corn on the cob (so delicious!) and french fries. Then the rain came… for about ten minutes. While it was raining we listened to Lesley Livingston read from her new book Starling. She was a fantastic reader—didn’t miss a beat. I have officially added Starling to my TBR pile.

Lesley Livingston reading from Starling; Also present (from left to right) are Mariko Tamaki, Natalie Zina Walschots and Deborah Kerbel

This was followed by more walking, more book-looking and more freebies (including cupcakes!). Then we headed home. It was a wonderfully fun, carefree day and I look forward to doing it again next year.

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