SALISBURY, MD---Award-winning authors, illustrators and photographers from around the globe come to Salisbury University for its annual Children’s Literature Festival Wednesday-Thursday, April 18-19.
This year’s theme is “One Earth: Many Voices,” celebrating authors, illustrators and photographers who have focused on environmentalism.
“What better way to get young people excited about environmental stewardship than to provide beautifully written and illustrated stories for them to enjoy, and what better way to get reluctant readers excited about books than to provide topics that are meaningful to their lives?” said Dr. Ernest Bond, festival coordinator. “The speakers this year include some of the best authors, photographers and illustrators in the world.”
Guests include authors Sneed Collard III (Washington Post/Children's Book Guild 2006 Children's Nonfiction Writer of the Year Award winner, Flash Point), Pam Muñoz Ryan (Esperanza Rising, Pura Belpré Award winner for Latino children’s literature), Roland Smith (Cryptid Hunter, on the national Mark Twain List of books for young readers), and Melissa Stewart (A Place for Butterflies, Izaak Walton League of American Conservation Book of the Year); illustrators Graeme Base (Animalia) of Australia and Higgins Bond (A Place for Butterflies); and photographers Nic Bishop (The Snake Scientist, IRA Children’s Book Award winner) of New Zealand and Doug Wecshler (Frog Heaven).
Events begin with presentations by Ryan at 11 a.m. and Smith at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, in the Nanticoke Room of the Guerrieri University Center.
A concert featuring world music performer Daria is 1:30 p.m. in Caruthers Hall Auditorium. Daria is a delegate to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Her albums include Jadda, Jadda, Jing, Jing, Jing; I Have a Dream and Beautiful Rainbow World.
A panel discussion on environmental writing is 3 p.m., also in the Nanticoke Room. Panelists include Smith, Collard, Base and Stewart. A second panel discussion on environmental photography and illustration follows at 4 p.m. Panelists for that discussion include Wecshler, Bond and Bishop.
The Eastern Shore Reading Council hosts a banquet in connection with the festival at 5 p.m. in the Worcester Room of the Commons. Ryan delivers the banquet address. Admission is $17 for council members, $22 for non-members. For reservations e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The evening culminates with the presentation of the 2007 National Green Earth Book Awards, sponsored by the Newton-Marasco Foundation, 7 p.m. in the Wicomico Room of the Guerrieri University Center. Awards are given annually for books that promote environmental stewardship. Recipients are Base, Higgins, Bond, Collard, Bishop and Wecshler. Smith keynotes the event. Presenters include Lisa Bryant, host of WBOC’s Learning Matters; Sue Corbett, book editor for the Miami Herald; and Pam Holley, president of the Young Adult Library Services Association. A book signing and reception follow.
Festivities move into the community Thursday, April 19, as Bishop, Stewart and Bond offer presentations at 10 and 11 a.m. at the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art. Smith, Collard and Wecshler give presentations at the Salisbury Zoo at 10 and 11 a.m. Authors presenting at both events host a book signing at noon at the Ward Museum.
Smith speaks to students in SU’s Biology Department at 4 p.m. in Henson Science Hall Room 103. The festival culminates with a young authors reception 5 p.m. at Most Blessed Sacrament School, 11242 Racetrack Rd., in Berlin, MD, where Collard is guest speaker.
From April 13-April 30, SU’s Blackwell Library celebrates children’s literature with a traveling exhibit of the best picture books from Canada as selected by the Canadian International Board on Books for Young People. The collection is divided evenly between books published in French and English. SU is one of only six stops for the exhibit in the United States.
All events are free unless otherwise noted. The public is invited. For more information call 410-548-3257 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.