I was deeply honored to speak at the DallasKidsRead! children’s book festival at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library (1515 Young Street) in Dallas, Texas on Thursday, July 28th. Big Thought and the Dallas Public Library partnered with the City of Dallas and the Dallas Independent School District to provide an educational enrichment event for all 2nd through 5th grade students as part of the Thriving Minds Summer Camp program. Students from four elementary schools came to the central library to hear nine authors and illustrators discuss their children’s books. In addition to me, the authors and illustrators included:
Crystal Allen Author of How Lamar’s Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy.
Lydia Gil Author of Mimi’s Parranda.
Darlington Johnson Fourteen-year-old author of Layla the Ladybug.
Jennifer Kindert Illustrator of The Christmas Puppy and Llamas in Pajamas.
Toni Simmons Award-winning author of The Cheese Chase: Why Dogs Chase Cats.
Don Tate Award-winning author and illustrator of more than 40 children’s books including Black All Around!
Willy Welch Children’s entertainer, recording artist and author of Playing Right Field.
Multiple workshops took place in the morning and afternoon. During a brief midday break the branch manager, Sharon Martin, gave us a walking tour of the central library. I saw two amazing and unexpected treasures on the 7th floor: the “Lost Copy” of the Declaration of Independence and a Shakespeare First Folio compiled in 1623.
The event was open to the public from 4 to 7 PM. Each author and illustrator shared their books/art with children and their families while Jokae’s African-American Bookstore sold books for the presenters. It was a fabulous opportunity for children and their families to meet several authors and illustrators from across the country. If you live in the Dallas area, plan to attend the 2012 summer event. It will be a rewarding experience!
Jokae’s African-American Bookstore: Follow them on Twitter @Jokaesbooks