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Released November 19, 2003


HATTIESBURG -- It's never too early to start thinking about the holiday season and what to get those special children on your list, and The University of Southern Mississippi's 17th annual Holiday Book Fair could be the perfect place to start shopping.

The fair will be held Sunday, Dec. 7 from 1-4 p.m. and Monday, Dec. 8 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the second floor of Cook Library. Sponsored by the Southern Miss Libraries and the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection, the Holiday Book Fair promotes selections by children's authors and illustrators typically not found in commercial bookstores.

"At the time we started the fair, commercial bookstores had a limited selection of children's book," said Dee Jones, curator of the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection at Southern Miss and founder of the Holiday Book Fair. "We felt that parents and grandparents didn't have as much access to some of the variety of great children's books authors, so we would ask publishers to send us titles that we could display for the fair, as well as keep for our collection here."

The fair will give visitors an opportunity to examine more than 1,000 new children's and young adult books created by leading authors and illustrators. Fairy tales and folklore, fantasy and fiction, nonfiction, classics, and innovative new stories will be among the selections available. There will also be board books, novels, picture books, toy books, pop-ups and movables, as well as book and audio packages.

Small, independent publishers and authors get a chance to promote their work at the fair, and the de Grummond collection has benefited with new titles added over the years. In addition, Jones said, school librarians also have the opportunity to visit the fair and secure titles for their own libraries.

"This is a wonderful opportunity to see some of the best children's books being published today, and to select a holiday gift for that special child," said Sherry Laughlin, head of information services for Cook Library at Southern Miss.

A book list will be provided that gives ordering information for all of the books on display. After locating a favorite title(s) at the book fair, purchases can be made at a local bookstore or from online sources like or Barnes and Noble. There will be computers available at the book fair for easy ordering on site.

For additional information on the fair, contact Kaylene Behm at (601) 266-4251 or Sherry Laughlin at (601) 266-4270.


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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM