When someone says ‘Franklin,’ I might think of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, former President of the United States. Or I might think of the Franklin Mint, where you could shop from an endless list of “collectibles” that nobody in their right mind could possibly want. Most likely, I’d think of Benjamin Franklin, the coonskin cap-wearing, electricity discovering, newspaper publisher. But the Franklin who will be visiting WordFest this year, is a bipedal turtle who wears a red hat.
First released in 1986, Franklin in the Dark is the first book in a series that has since sold over 65 million copies worldwide and spawned a popular television series. What an honour it is that Franklin has decided to include Calgary and WordFest as part of his 25th anniversary celebrations, with two separate events.
First off will be a session at the Glenbow Museum on Friday, October 14 at 10:00AM. Creators, Paulette Bourgeois and Brenda Clark will present Franklin in the Dark as part of Book Rapport, WordFest’s annual educational programme. Naturally, this is one of the most important parts of WordFest, as it introduces a new generation to the joys of reading and might even create a couple of authors to be featured at WordFest 2040.
The second event will be the Franklin Family Fun Day, on October 15th from 11AM to 2PM at the Signal Hill Library. The Family Fun Day will include reading of Franklin stories, face painting and perhaps even some shoofly pie. But most exciting will be an appearance by Franklin himself. I know one lucky staffer at WordFest is pretty excited about filling Franklin’s ‘shell’ for an afternoon.
Now I think my ignorance toward Franklin can simply be explained by the fact that I’m, well, I’m too old. I believe I had moved onto the Hardy Boys by the time Franklin came around, so WordFest will be my introduction to his books and his legend. I think this is one of the great things about WordFest; being introduced to new authors and new books. Of course when I first got involved, I didn’t think these authors or books would be geared toward the under 10 set, so these might not be books I end up reading, but I do have a niece and nephew who are pretty excited. And I can get my picture taken with a giant turtle!
What: Book Rapport
Franklin Family Fun Day
Where: Glenbow Museum, ConocoPhilipps Theatre, $6
Signal Hill Library, FREE!
When: Friday, October 14. 10:00AM-11:00AM
Saturday, October 15. 11:00AM-2:00PM