November 26, 2014  

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45th annual Fay B. Kaigler Children's Book Festival April 11-13 at Southern Miss

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Fay B. Kaigler Children's Book Festival

The 45th annual Fay B. Kaigler Children's Book Festival will be held April 11-13 at the Thad Cochran Center on The University of Southern Mississippi’s Hattiesburg campus. It is presented by the university’s School of Library and Information Science and de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection.

Each year, more than 500 teachers and librarians from across the nation come to Southern Miss for the festival to hear major speakers and participate in concurrent sessions and workshops as authors, illustrators, and experts in the field share their knowledge and experience.  Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available for Mississippi educators.

Jane Yolen, who has been called the Hans Christian Andersen of America and the Aesop of the 20th century, is the recipient of the festival’s top award this year, the Southern Miss Medallion. Yolen has written more than 300 books and won numerous awards including the coveted Caldecott Medal, and is the recipient of six honorary doctorates in literature.

In addition, the 26th annual Ezra Jack Keats New Writer and New Illustrator Book Awards will be presented at this year’s festival. This year’s recipient of Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award Winner is Meg Medina for Tía Isa Wants a Car; the recipient of theEzra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award Winner (and New Writer Honor) is Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw for Same, Same but Different. Margery Cuyler, an award-winning children’s book author and publisher at Marshall Cavendish Children’s Books, will be the guest presenter.

For the first time in the history of the Ezra Jack Keats Book Awards, honorable mentions were awarded, including 2012 New Writer Honor - Nicola Winstanley for Cinnamon Baby; 2012 New Writer and New Illustrator Honor - Anna Witte (writer), Micha Archer (illustrator) for Lola’s Fandango; and 2012 New Illustrator Honor - David Ercolini for Not Inside this House!

Other authors who will be speaking at the festival along with Yolen include Margery Cuyler, 2012 de Grummond Children's Literature Collection Lecturer; Caroline Herring, 2012 Coleen Salley Storytelling Award Recipient; and Matt de la Peña, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Denise Fleming, Jennifer Holm, and Anita Silvey.

Those who want to learn more about the authors visiting this year’s festival can visit the university’s Cook Library lobby through April 13 to see the exhibit Fay B. Kaigler Children's Book Festival: Authors and Keynote Speakers. For more information about this display, contact Linda Ginn at Linda.Ginn@usm.edu or 601.266.6398, or Ellen Ruffin at Ellen.Ruffin@usm.edu or 601.266.6543.

For more information about the festival, online visit www.usm.edu/childrens-book-festival.