Once Upon a Time at the 2013 Festival of Books


Thousands of book-lovers across the region descended upon the USC campus over the last weekend to celebrate the 2013 Festival of Books. The annual gathering has become a major attraction for the region’s bibliophiles, gathering not only local bookstores, publishing houses, and media outlets, but also authors of world renown. This year the list included Margaret Atwood, Joyce Carol Oates and Fuminori Nakamura, among other literary luminaries.

Montrose staked its presence in the event in the form of Once Upon a Time bookstore and the large corner booth it enjoyed.

Hundreds of kids and parents swamped the booth in search of their favorite books or to meet a favorite author.

For OUAT owner Maureen Palacios (below), it was a thrilling experience.

“We’re still recovering,” she jokingly said.

This year her store partnered with Simon & Schuster and Scholastic Books, allowing Palacios to double the size of her booth from last year.

“We were thinking over last summer after we first participated how to go about and find a publisher to partner with,” she said. “To our surprise, these two publishers came to us asking the very same thing. It was perfect timing.”

Some of the prominent children’s writers and illustrators who visited Palacios’ booth and signed books were Mark Teague, best known for his “How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?” series, and young adult author Jacqueline Moriarty, who arrived all the way from Australia.

“A couple of time we were literally crying,” said Palacios. “Watching the children and parents interacting with these authors, it was so beautiful. Kids become inspired to read and that just warms my heart. That interaction is something that is very near and dear to us. That’s why we love kids’ books so much.”