Children's Literature Festival
16th annual festival ignites passion for reading
Now in its 16th consecutive year at the University of Redlands, the Charlotte S. Huck Children's Literature Festival was held at the Orton Center March 2 and 3.
The festival featured a variety of authors and illustrators including Brian Pinkney, Eric Kimmel, George Ella Lyon, J. Patrick Lewis, Steven Layne, Caroline Arnold, and Kristine O’Connell George. Teachers, librarians and returning fans enjoyed the two-day festival which included small-group sessions with authors and illustrators on a variety of subjects.
"This festival can re-ignite the love of children’s books," said Valerie Leonard, returning for her 10th year. "You have to hook children on reading while they’re at a young age so that they remain interested, and part of the way you can do that is allow them to meet the actual authors of the books they read."
Students from regional elementary schools had the chance to meet with illustrator Brian Pinkney, author Steven Layne, National Children's Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis and author George Ella Lyon.
"We’re surrounded by people who read, teach, write and love children’s books so naturally it’s a great opportunity for our business," said Frugal Frigate owner Gay Kolodzik. "Reading is something that costs next to nothing and can take you to far-away places."
Children's author George Ella Lyon presented "Reading for Our Lives."
"We are in a big circle of readers, writers, teachers and librarians," she said. "It’s all about connecting kids to our work and strengthening that interest in storytelling. The right story at the right moment can change lives."
"There’s been a monumental change in the digital age where people are asking 'what is a book?' said Eric Kimmel, the Caldecott and Newbury Honor award-winning author of "Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblin." "Reading may take several kinds of digital forms, but books will never go away. Books work."