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Book #8

Democrat and Chronicle
Sunday, October 23, 2005


Kids meet local authors at festival.

As if soccer games and swim lessons weren't enough, here's another family activity worth shoehorning into a busy Saturday: the ninth annual Rochester Children's Book Festival.

Coming up Nov. 5, the day-long event gathers 38 writers and illustrators from upstate New York and farther afield. It's presented by the group Rochester Area Children's Writers and Illustrators in partnership with Monroe Community College.

"It's an opportunity to meet with authors and talk with them," says Carol Johmann, the group's president. "Everything is free and family-oriented."

A full schedule and author list is posted on the festival Web site. Here are a few highlights:

Read-To-Me Corners -- one for the preschoolers, one for the older children -- present guest authors reading from their work and members of the Blackstorytelling League of Rochester performing African folk tales and legends.

Presentation Place promises talks, demonstrations and activities. Visitors might help Peggy Thomas (Joshua the Giant Frog) create a new tall tale of the Erie Canal, join a poetry workshop hosted by picture-book author Marsha Halyes (Pajamas Anytime and more) or help Johmann (The Lewis & Clark Expedition) use sign language to barter for horses with the Shoshone Indians.

One Busy Bookworm Place features hands-on activities for children ages 2 to 12, such as making crafts, playing with puppets, creating dot-to-dot-puzzles with dot-to-dot king David Kalvitis and assembling characters from simple shapes with artist Kevin Serwacki (Doorknob the Rabbit and the Carnival of Bugs).

"Just for Teens," a new program, offers discussions by and with young adult authors, including fantasy/sci-fi writer Vivian Vande Velde of Greece and Newbery award-winning novelist Linda Sue Park of Brighton.

The Mall will offer a range of books. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Monroe County libraries.

Reprinted with permission from the Democrat & Chronicle

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