Welcome to Library Lions interviews. This month we’re Raising a Roar for the 44thAnnual Children’s Literature Festival at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. I was lucky enough to present this year. Here’s my report on the huge book festival with the largest number of student participants in the U.S.
It was already spring in Missouri when we arrived. The trees were in bloom and I wore my shades for the first time in months and months!
Judy Young, Vivian Vande Velde and moi.
The day before the Lit Fest launched in full, 34 authors and illustrators were treated to a luncheon on the college campus followed by a book signing. This year the festival was presented with a commendation by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL). Dean of Library Services, Mollie Dinwiddie, accepted the award on behalf of the festival.
We enjoyed a live performance of The Day Dirk Yeller Came to Town, by Mary Casanova, illustrated by Ard Hoyt below (winners of this year’s Missouri Show Me award)
A team of authors and illustrators participated in the dramatic reading.
Bright and early Monday morning the first half of the 4200 students signed up for the festival arrived in busloads from all across the state.
Thousands of grade school students poured through the college campus moving from event to event. The Festival runs smoothly in the talented hands of the Festival Director, Naomi Williamson. Three cheers for Naomi!!
Some kids had been on the bus for three hours, but they were all raring to see the authors and illustrators presenting workshops at University of Central Missouri. Festival Director, Naomi Williamson was ready for them at the conference greeting table.
Students packed into the classrooms for their first workshop!
With 34 Authors/Illustrations to choose from, the librarians at each school had to pick just 4 workshops for their students to attend. Multiple classes from many schools crowded into each room first thing in the morning and we were off!
Author Veda Jones in action.
Aside from presenting 4 workshops per day, the authors and illustrators signed scads of books. Here are just a few of us signing.
Elizabeth C. Bunce & Brad Sneed
Janet Lee Carey, Stephanie Tolan, Roderick Townley, Patricia Hermes
The first day of the festival whizzed by. Tuesday began with busloads of excited students arriving for workshops, book signings, and a chance to meet their favorite authors and illustrators in person.
I hope you Library Lions readers enjoyed a peek at this dynamic literary festival for children put on by the librarians at the University of Central Missouri and the hundreds of school librarians bringing eager students from their schools. Bravo to all the librarians, volunteers, authors & illustrators !!!!