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Best Literary Festival of the Year for Children to be at World's Fair Park

KNOXVILLE -- Favorite stories will bounce off the page as Knox County Public Library's annual Children's Festival of Reading features pop-up artist extraordinaire Robert Sabuda, one of today's most innovative and inventive children's book creators. Joining Sabuda is a roster of highly acclaimed writers and illustrators including Grace Lin, Patricia McKissack, and two-time Grammy-Award winner Bill Harley, plus many more.

The whole region is invited to meet great authors, sit in on thrilling stories by world renowned storyteller Bill Harley, and get toes tappin' with songs from around the world. The fun continues all day long with a mad scientist, a roaming circus, arts & crafts, a bouncy house, and a wagon ride. Over 12,000 people are expected to join the festivities, which are free and open to the public. It's the most exciting way to gear up for a summer of reading!

A new event has been added this year. The Children's Performance Stage will showcase local talent. Dance troupes, show choirs, musicians, poets and gymnasts from East Tennessee will be in the spotlight.

This year's theme is One World, Many Stories. As the kickoff celebration for the summer reading programs at the Library, the Festival is the passport to a whole new world of reading. The Library's summer programs encourage children (both readers and listeners), teens, and adults to enjoy reading all summer long. Each program has an exciting incentive to keep the pages turning. For program details, including reading goals, please visit

Robert Sabuda is an author and illustrator who has received wide-ranging acclaim as one of the foremost designers of interactive pop-up books. One of todays most innovative and inventive children's book creators, Sabuda's delightful creations incorporate bright colors, stand-out graphics, and striking examples of paper engineering. Sabuda has designed graphic illustrations for such classic works as the tales of Mother Goose, Alice in Wonderland, Chronicles of Narnia, and Wizard of Oz.

Grace Lin is racking up awards at a break-neck pace. Having just received the 2011 Geisel Honor for Ling and Ting, she has added to a long list of awards, which includes the Newbery Honor for her novel Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, inspired by Lin's travels to Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan. Her book Lissy's Friends can be found in the Imagination Library collection. Lin has been featured on the Today Show on Al Rockers Book Club.

Patricia McKissack is the author of many highly acclaimed books for children, including Goin' Someplace Special, a Coretta Scott King Award winner; The Honest-to-Goodness Truth; Let My People Go, written with her husband, Fredrick, and recipient of the NAACP Image Award; The Dark-Thirty, a Newbery Honor Book and Coretta Scott King Award winner; and Mirandy and Brother Wind, recipient of the Caldecott Medal and a Coretta Scott King Honor Book.

Mike Artell is an award-winning children's book author, illustrator and TV cartoonist. His body of work includes nationally recognized picture books, wordplay books, how-to books and non-fiction books. Artell's book, Petite Rouge: A Cajun Red Riding Hood was named by the National Association of Elementary School Principals as its 2009 Read Aloud Book of the Year, and was also made into a musical theatre production. His astronomy book, Starry Skies, was named a Best Science Book for Children by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

A two-time Grammy Award-winning artist and recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, Bill Harley uses song and story to paint a vibrant and hilarious picture of growing up, schooling and family life. Prolific author and recording artist, Harley is also a regular commentator for NPR's "All Things Considered" and featured on PBS.

Allan Wolf is no stranger to the Children's Festival of Reading. The rhythmic author, poet, and performer returns to the stage at World's Fair Park with his enthralling, toe-tapping theatrical poetry shows for all ages. His books include The Blood-Hungry Spleen and Other Poems About Our Parts and New Found Land: Lewis and Clark's Voyage of Discovery, a novel in verse chosen as a School Library Journal Best Book, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, and an IRA Children's Book Award Notable. He is the author of a book about writing poems titled, Immersed In Verse: An Informative, Slightly Irreverent & Totally Tremendous Guide to Living the Poet's Life (Lark Books) and a new YA novel in verse titled Zane's Trace.

The World's Fair Park on the festival lawn and amphitheater in downtown Knoxville will be the scene for the festival which will take place on Saturday, May 21, 2011 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free and free parking is available in all surrounding lots.

The Festival is made possible through the generous support of Fluor B&W / Oak Ridge, Friends of the Library, ORNL Credit Union, Humanities Tennessee, Tennessee Arts Commission, The National Endowment for the Arts, Downtown Knoxville, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, the Knoxville News Sentinel, East Tennessee PBS, Comcast,, B97.5 and WVLT.

Published April 23, 2011

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