Friday, August 6, 2010

Sheboygan Children's Book Festival

By: Karin Menzer, Youth Services Manager, Mead Public Library

An exciting event for children's book lovers is coming to our area this fall. The Sheboygan Children's Book Festival (SCBF) will take place on October 15-17, 2010. It will bring outstanding children's authors and illustrators to our community for a three-day celebration of books, reading, writing, art, workshops, and discussion.

The book festival is being planned by an ad hoc committee of community members and local organizations. Partners include Mead Public Library, the Eastern Shores Library System, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Bookworm Gardens, the University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan, The Next Chapter Bookshop in Mequon, and the Sheboygan and Kohler School Districts. Funding for the festival is through grants, in-kind donations and matching funds.

Dave Weinhold and Paula Siefert from the Eastern Shores Library System, Trixine Tahtinen, Director of the Oostburg Public Library and Karin Menzer, Youth Services Manager at Mead Public Library are members of the SCBF steering committee.

Many wonderful authors and illustrators have agreed to take part in the SCBF, including Newbery Award winning author Avi; Newbery Honor author, Kathi Appelt; Caldecott Honor writer and illustrator, David McLimans; Caldecott Honor writer and illustrator, Lois Ehlert; Charlotte Zolotow Honor writer and illustrator, Keiko Kasza; humorous poet and illustrator Calef Brown; popular Wisconsin authors Barbara Joosse, Gerald Morris and Jo Ann Early Macken; and Wisconsin illustrator and Sheboygan native Renee Graef.

A variety of programs are being planned, including "My Name is Avi," a dramatic performance reading of his works, interspersed with biographical anecdotes and the stories of key books and how they came to be. Avi will also present an informal writing workshop for teens, providing a rare opportunity for would-be young writers to engage in a dialogue about writing with this popular and highly-regarded author. On Friday evening a reception to "Celebrate Wisconsin Authors and Illustrators Who Call Wisconsin Home" will be held at Mead Public Library. This reception will allow the public to engage in informal conversation with Wisconsin writers and artists.

This summer, during Mead's summer reading program, I plan to raise awareness of the festival by presenting some book discussion programs featuring several festival authors. School-aged children have more time for reading and discussion programs during the summer and the opportunity to meet the author in the fall will add extra appeal.

Many of Avi's books will be great for discussion programs, especially Crispin: The Cross of Lead, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, the Poppy series and, for teens, Nothing but the Truth: A Documentary Novel. Kathi Appelt's The Underneath and Gerald Morris's A Squire's Tale will also make interesting discussion titles., available through BadgerLink, is a great resource for planning book discussion programs. I will be putting some book discussion materials together so if any of you are interested in doing some book discussions in your library this summer or fall, please let me know. If there is interest, we may also be able to organize some book sharing for the discussion programs through the system.

More information about the Sheboygan Children's Book Festival will become available soon, including a website. Meanwhile, mark October 15-17, 2010 in your calendars so you don't miss the fun!

1 comment:

PragmaticMom said...

My kids love books by Avi -- The Secret School comes to mind. My oldest insisted that I blog on it! Your event sounded really fun!

Pragmatic Mom
Type A Parenting for the Modern World
I blog on children's lit, education and parenting.