2013 Keynote Speaker Lineup

The Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival is THE place to meet nationally known authors, illustrators, and storytellers.


Jon Scieszka

Southern Miss Medallion recipient Jon Scieszka

Jon Scieszka graduated from Albion College in 1976, and obtained his MFA from Columbia in 1980. His first book, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, was published in 1989. This book, as well as The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, Math Curse, and Robot Zot have won multiple awards. Mr. Scieszka is the founder of Guys Read, a literacy program designed to help boys become self-motivated, lifelong readers. He lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife Jeri and two children, Casey and Jake.

Candace Fleming

Candace Fleming awarded herself the Newbery Medal in fifth grade after scraping the gold sticker off the class copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond and pasting it onto her first novel—a ten page, ten-chapter mystery called Who Done It? She’s been collecting awards (her own, not Elizabeth George Speare’s) ever since.  Today, Candace is the acclaimed author of numerous books for children, including Ben Franklin's Almanac, an ALA Notable Book and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, as well as Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!, Gabriella's Song, and When Agnes Caws, all ALA Notable Books. She lives in a suburb of Chicago.

KT Horning

Ezra Jack Keats Lecturer K.T. Horning

K.T. Horning is the director of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. For nine years she was also a children’s librarian at Madison Public Library. She is the author of From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children’s Books (revised edition: HarperCollins, 2010). With Ginny Moore Kruse, she coauthored Multicultural Literature for Children and Young Adults, 1980–1990, and with Ginny Moore Kruse and Megan Schliesman, Multicultural Literature for Children and Young Adults, 1991–1996. Kathleen is a past-president of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) of the American Library Association (ALA), and a past president of the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY). She has a B.A. in Linguistics and a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Studies, both from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

 Ted and Betsy Lewin

Ted & Betsy Lewin are a husband and wife team of writers and illustrators, who have collaborated on a number of books based upon their travels. The first, Gorilla Walk, was named a Smithsonian Notable Book. Since then, they have collaborated on four other books, including the award-winning Horse Song.  Each is also independently the author and/or illustrator of a number of books. Betsy Lewin’s most recent books include You Can Do It! and Where Is Tippy Toes? and has illustrated a number of books for other authors, including the Click, Clack, Moo series by Darlene Cronin. Ted Lewin recently authored Look! and Stable and illustrated The World’s Greatest Lion (Ralph Helfer) and The Longest Night (Marion Dane Bauer) among many others.

 Grace Lin

Grace Lin is the author and illustrator of picture books, early readers and middle grade novels. Grace's 2010 Newbery Honor book Where the Mountain Meets The Moon was chosen for Al Roker's Today Show Kid's Book Club and was a NY Times Bestseller. Ling & Ting, Grace's first early reader, was honored with the Theodor Geisel Honor in 2011.  Starry River of the Sky, released October 2012, is her most recent title.  Watch the book trailer via You Tube.  An Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award nominee for the US, most of Grace's books are about the Asian-American experience because she believes, "Books erase bias, they make the uncommon everyday, and the mundane exotic. A book makes all cultures universal." 

 Wendell Minor

de Grummond Lecturer Wendell Minor

Wendell Minor is the illustrator of many award-winning picture books for children, such as Mojave by Diane Siebert, Abe Lincoln Remembers by Ann Turner, The Seashore Book by Charlotte Zolotow, and Reaching for the Moon by Buzz Aldrin, as well as numerous books about the outdoors with his frequent collaborator, Jean Craighead George, including Luck: The Story of a Sandhill Crane.  The Minors live in Connecticut, where they share their home, and studio, with their cats Sofie and Cindercat. Wendell's latest title is If You Spent a Day with Thoreau at Walden Pond.  View the book trailer video on You Tube.

 Eric Rohmann

Eric Rohmann received a Caldecott Honor in 1999 for Time Flies, and the 2003 Caldecott Medal for My Friend Rabbit. Besides being an author, Rohmann is also a painter and a former teacher. When asked why he writes and illustrates children’s books, Rohmann answers, “Children are the best audience: they are curious, enthusiastic, impulsive, generous, and pleased by simple joys. They laugh easily at the ridiculous and are willing to believe the absurd.” Rohmann lives in Chicago, Illinois.

 Trout Fishing in America


Coleen Salley Storytelling Award Winners Trout Fishing in America

Trout Fishing in America has over thirty years of unique musical experience, capped by their most recent release, a children’s book/CD combo entitled Chicken Joe Forgets Something Important. Over their musical career, they have been nominated for four Grammys, as well as being nominated for numerous other awards. They have been featured on The Today Show, NPR’s All Things Considered, and The Dr. Demento Show, among others.