As a member of the Friends of the Children’s Library (FOTCL) of Huntington Beach, I support the Children’s Department of the Huntington Beach Public Library by helping with various activities throughout the year, including special events like magic shows and the annual Festival of Folk Tales. The once a month meetings work out for me and I help out usually during events that my kids and I are attending anyway.
The FOTCL kicks off the new year with the Authors’ Festival on January 26th. It is a fun event that showcases various authors and their books. The event is free but it’s best to bring some money to purchase new books which your kids can get autographed. The authors and publishers come up with different ways to attract kids to their booth – whether it be free cookies, a craft or some other cool thing. For my kids, the best part is always getting to speak with REAL LIFE AUTHORS and sometimes meeting characters straight out of the book.
One of the regular participants of the festival is Deborah Turner and celeb-chihuahua Willy – from the book How Willy got his Wheels. Sadly, this year, Willy will not be there because he passed away last month. He was 22 years old.
Willy’s story has been told many times – how he was found in a cardboard box, paralyzed with his vocal chords severed and was living in an animal hospital until he was adopted by pet store owner Deborah Turner. He was even featured on the Animal Planet. Many school kids know Willy as the little doggy who got around on a K9cart and love him even more or his sweetness and courage.
Here is a photo of my kids at last year’s book fair at Willy’s booth.
For his many fans, Wheely Willy will live on through his books. There will be a memorial for him on January 19th at Long Beach Animal Care Services.