Children’s Festival of Reading is Splashing into Summer on May 22

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Children’s Festival of Reading is Splashing into Summer on May 22

Posted: 05/13/2010
Get your splash on as Knox County Public Library jump starts its summer reading clubs with the Children's Festival of Reading from 10 a.m. to 3 pm. on May 22 in World's Fair Park in downtown Knoxville. Now in its 6th year, the Festival has become a favorite way to start the summer. This year's theme is Make A Splash, and there's no better place do so than by the fountains at the Park.

In a fun-filled day, the public is invited to meet and greet their favorite authors, illustrators, storytellers, and musicians. The fun continues all day long with a mad scientist, a roaming circus, arts & crafts, inflatables, and a wagon ride. Over 10,000 people are expected to join the festivities, which are free and open to the public.

This year, the Library is thrilled to welcome, Chris Raschka, one of the country's top children's book author/illustrators. He won the coveted Caldectt Medal for Hello, Goodbye Window in 2006, and his Yo! Yes? was a Caldecott Honor Book in 1994. School Library Journal named Raschka's Yo! Yes? one of its 100 Books that Shaped the Century. Mysterious Thelonious, one of a series of books on jazz greats, and A Poke in the I, have been named New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Books.

The Library is also excited to present Judy Schachner, creator of the Skippyjon Jones series as a featured picture book writer. Schachner is known to children of all ages for her beloved Siamese cat who thinks he's a Chihuahua. Schachner has written and illustrated five hardcover books, one of which is included in the Imagination Library collection. Recognized as one of the most outstanding children's authors of our time, sheis the recipient of many awards. Skippyjon Jones won the first E. B. White Read Aloud Book Award, which is given by the Association of Booksellers for Children for picture books and novels. Her books have also won state children' choice awards in Indiana, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and Washington.

If Black Lagoons peak interest, Mike Thaler, has created all manor of folks emerging from the legendary lagoon. Thaler, a.k.a. "America's Riddle King," has published over 220 books.

Deborah Wilesis the author of two picture books: One Wide Sky (Harcourt) and Freedom Summer (Simon & Schuster), and several novels: Love, Ruby Lavender, Each Little Bird That Sings (a National Book Award Finalist), and The Aurora County All-Stars (all Harcourt). Her newest book is Countdown, and next year, with Scholastic, she will publish Fallout, book one of "The Sixties Trilogy: Three novels of the 1960s for young readers."

Haling from New York City by way of the University of Tennessee, mystery writer Chris Grabenstein will present his take on suspenseful plots of his own. Winner of the Agatha and Anthony Awards for young adult mysteries, Grabenstein may be well known to Knoxville crowds as he is fresh from his debut of Curiosity Cats at the Children's Theatre of Knoxville.

NEW THIS YEAR: The ETptv Super Why Parade. Super Why and Princess Presto will lead the parade of mask-wearing, cape-donning and kazoo-playing kids throughout the Festival.

Also joining the Festival is Billy Jonas, who's been described as an explosion of energy. In singalongs, bangalongs, whisperalongs, as well as improvised songs, his primary instrument is the audience. Everyone becomes part of a performance that reaches out and "touches even the most hardened of hearts."

Storyteller and author, Donna Washington returns to the Festival to regale audiences with her engaging retelling of traditional tales. Well known at thousands of schools & libraries and numerous storytelling festivals throughout the country, she has also been the featured artist at the 2004 National Storytelling Festival, The Illinois Storytelling Festival, The Three Rivers Festival, The St. Louis Storytelling Festival, The NC StoryFest, The Corn Island and Cave Run Festivals in KY, and the Broward County Children's & Ocala Storytelling Festivals in FL--just to name a few.

Storytellers Liz Mangual andBob Kanegis keep the crowd involved in their participatory story telling that often leaves audiences howling like coyotes, or flying through the forest with the fairies. During the school year they offer extended storytelling and oral language development residencies in local schools, and have a particular interest in fostering family storytelling through community events.

The Children's Festival of Reading is the kickoff celebration for the summer reading programs at the Library. Offering programs for children (both readers and listeners), teens and adults, the Library is committed to helping Knox County enjoy reading all summer long.

The Festival is made possible through the generous support of Books-A-Million, Friends of the Library, ORNL Federal Credit Union, Tennessee Arts Commission, Humanities Tennessee, National Endowment of the Arts, Mayfield Dairies, CBID/Downtown Knoxville, WVLT-TV, Comcast, B97.5, Knoxville News Sentinel and

Learn more about the Children's Festival of Reading at or by calling 215-8767.