Julie Andrews, stage and screen superstar and best-selling author, signs latest children's book at Fairfield University Bookstore in Fairfield, Connecticut


Image: Julie AndrewsClutching their books and a much-sought-after "line ticket," more than 200 individuals and their families stood in line yesterday afternoon (February 7, 2013), to celebrate and honor Dame Julie Andrews at the Fairfield University Bookstore in downtown Fairfield, Connecticut, as she signed her latest children's book, "The Very Fairy Princess Follows Her Heart" (Little Brown), co-authored with her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton. 

Commenting on Ms. Andrew's appearance, James Fitzpatrick, assistant vice president at Fairfield University and the University liaison to the Bookstore, said, "The book is magical. We at the University are delighted to host such a distinguished guest at our bookstore. When the University opened the retail store in downtown Fairfield, we did so to serve the residential community and our neighboring towns as a center for learning, entertainment, and cultural enrichment, and as a place that fosters conversation and community. This event is very special and just one in a myriad of events and programs that have and will continue to take place here."

The Fairfield University Bookstore, which opened in late Fall 2011, has become a popular destination in downtown for residents and visitors alike. It features bestsellers, general interest titles, a large children's section, emblematic merchandise from the Fairfield University and local high schools, gifts, accessories, as well as a Starbucks Café. Since its opening, national and local authors have made appearances at the store.

With "The Very Fairy Princess Follows Her Heart," Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton    present another charming adventure in the #1 New York Times bestselling Very Fairy Princess series, which follows the adventures of Geraldine, a fairy princess. Gerry may not look like your average fairy princess because of her skinned knees and sneakers, but she is. In "The Very Fairy Princess Follow Her Heart," with illustrations by Christine Davenier, it's Valentine's Day, Gerry's favorite day of the year, and she must find the perfect Very Fairy Princess way to celebrate what makes each of her friends sparkle.

Julie Andrew's dedication to children has been steadfast throughout her career. She began writing books for young readers over thirty-five years ago, and her first two novels - "Mandy" and "The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles" - remain in print and in high demand. Her other books include the Little Bo series and a collection of picture books, novels and early readers co-authored with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton. Her memoir, "Home," was #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. In the world of entertainment, Julie Andrews is an international star, best known for her performances in "The Sound of Music," "Mary Poppins," and "The Princess Diaries." Her legendary career encompasses the Broadway and London stages, blockbuster Hollywood films, award-winning television shows, multiple album releases and concert tours, and, of course, her bestselling children's books. In 2000, she was honored with the title of Dame Julie Andrews by Queen Elizabeth II for lifetime achievements in the arts and humanities. Her many other honors include being named "One of the 100 Greatest Britons" by the British Broadcasting Corporation, serving as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations' UNIFEM program, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, ambassadorships for literacy programs for the American Library Association, and a prestigious Kennedy Center honor.

Emma Walton Hamilton is an author, editor, and arts educator. She and her mother have coauthored many books for young readers, including the Very Fairy Princess series, the Dumpy the Dump Truck series (illustrated by her father, Tony Walton), "The Great American Mousical," "Thanks to You: Wisdom from Mother to Child" (another #1 New York Times bestseller), and "Simeon's Gift," which was also adapted for the stage. Their first anthology, "Julie Andrews' Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies," was a New York Times bestseller, and the mother-daughter's audio recording went on to win a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children. A second poetry collection, "Julie Andrews' Treasury for all Seasons: Poems and Songs to Celebrate the Year," arrives in October 2013. An arts and literacy advocate, Ms. Hamilton also wrote "Raising Bookworms: Getting Kids Reading for Pleasure and Empowerment," which won a Parent's Choice Gold Medal. She is one of the founders of Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor and is currently a faculty member of Stony Brook Southhampton's MFA Program in Writing and Literature. She is also the Editorial Director of the Julie Andrews Collection, a publishing program dedicated to producing quality books for young readers that nurture the imagination and celebrate a sense of wonder.

For more information on The Very Fairy Princess series and the Julie Andrews Collection, visit www.theveryfairyprincess.com or www.julieandrewscollection.com.

The Fairfield University Bookstore, is located at 1499 Post Road in the center of Fairfield, Connecticut, and is operated by Follett, Inc.

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Media Contact: Mike Horyczun, (203) 254-4000 ext. 2647, mhoryczun@fairfield.edu

Posted on February 12, 2013

Vol. 45, No. 140