Skip navigation

Fay B. Kaigler Children's Book Festival

2022 Festival Information

Welcome!  We hope you will join us for the 2022 Virtual Fay B. Kaigler Children's Book Festival, scheduled for April 6-8, 2022.  We are honored to celebrate Brian Selznick as the 2022 Southern Miss Medallion winner!  We have lots of other incredible keynote and workshop offerings as well, with all sessions featuring live captioning.

Registration for the 2022 Virtual Festival is $100 and CEUs will be offered to Mississippi educators. Registered virtual participants will have access to live sessions and recordings.  
At this time we are not able to accept cash registration payments.

Paying with a credit card?  Register with a credit card here
Paying with a purchase order or requisition?  Register here.
To register with a personal check please mail your check to:
Children's Book Festival Registration
School of Library and Information Science
118 College Drive #5146
Hattiesburg, MS  39406-0001
Please make checks payable to the Children's Book Festival and include a phone number where you may be reached.

We are thrilled to announce the 2022 Kaigler keynote lineup including 2022 Southern Miss Medallion winner Brian Selznick at this year's Festival. 

Brian Selznick

Brian Selznick

2022 Southern Miss Medallion winner

Brian Selznick is the author and illustrator of innovative, genre-defying works for children. For The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which combined words, pictures, and design in a revolutionary way, Brian received the Caldecott Medal before Martin Scorsese adapted the book into the Oscar-winning film, Hugo, in which Brian made a  cameo appearance. Riffing on The Invention of Hugo Cabret’s style and technique, Brian wrote Wonderstruck and The Marvels, as well as the screenplay for Todd Haynes’s film, Wonderstruck

He has illustrated picture books, including the Caldecott Honor recipient, The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins by Barbara Kerley, and the Sibert Honor recipients, When Marian Sang by Pam Muñoz Ryan and Walt Whitman: Words for America by Barbara Kerley. He and his husband David Serlin collaborated on Baby Monkey, Private Eye, a 158-page early reader that again challenged the expectations for a literary category. Brian has also created artwork for beloved series, including new covers and a decorative book to commemorate the 20th anniversary of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series and covers and interior illustrations for The Doll People trilogy by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin and chapter books by Andrew Clements, such as Frindle. Recently, Brian published his first book for adults, Live Oak, With Moss, based on 12 of Walt Whitman’s poems, and his newest book for young readers, Kaleidoscope, is a transcendent tale that again asks readers to recognize the importance of perspective. 

Brian continues to take his work beyond the page by performing as a puppeteer, creating toy theater pieces, and writing a new narrative for Christopher Wheeldon’s The Nutcracker, performed at Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet. Brian is also working on the latest adaptation of The Invention of Hugo Cabret: a stage musical. Clearly, Brian’s experimentation with form and storytelling techniques is far from over. 

Photo credit: Slimane Lalami

Jen Bryant

Jen Bryant

Jen Bryant has written award-winning picture books, verse novels, and poetry collections and is particularly well-known for her picture book biographies. The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus received the Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award, and A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin received a Sibert Honor, the NCTE Orbis Pictus Award, and the Schneider Family Book Award. Six Dots: The Story of Young Louis Braille also received the Schneider Family Book Award. The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus and A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams both garnered Caldecott Honors for illustrator Melissa Sweet's artwork, which beautifully complements Jen’s flowing text. Two of Jen’s middle-grade verse novels, Ringside 1925: Views from the Scopes Trial and The Trial, which presents the legal aftermath of the kidnapping and murder of the Lindbergh baby, highlight important events in U.S. history from multiple perspectives.  

Photo Credit: Amy Drago, Daily Local News

Lesa Cline-Ransome

Lesa Cline-Ransome

Lesa Cline-Ransome is an acclaimed author of picture books, middle grade novels, and works of nonfiction. Many of her books focus on African American and women’s history, often uncovering hidden stories. Her award-winning picture books include Satchel Paige, Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams, Words Set Me Free: The Story of Young Frederick Douglass, and The Power of Her Pen: The Story of Groundbreaking Journalist Ethel Payne. Her verse biography of Harriet Tubman, Before She Was Harriet, received five starred reviews, was nominated for an NAACP Image Award, and received a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor. Her debut middle grade novel, Finding Langston, received the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction and a Coretta Scott King Author Honor and was followed by two companion novels, Leaving Lymon and Becoming Clem. Lesa’s books have received numerous other recognitions, including the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award and the Christopher Award. She frequently collaborates with her husband, illustrator James Ransome. 

James Ransome

James Ransome

James Ransome has illustrated over 60 picture books, many of which explore African American history and contemporary life. For The Bell Rang, which he both wrote and illustrated, he received his second Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award. Previously, he had received the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for The Creation, along with three Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honors for Uncle Jed’s Barbershop, Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt, and Before She Was Harriet. Let My People Go won an NAACP Image Award. He frequently collaborates with his wife, author Lesa Cline-Ransome, and some of their picture book creations include Overground Railroad, Freedom’s School, Young Pelé: Soccer’s First Star, and My Story, My Dance: Robert Battle’s Journey to Alvin Ailey. In addition to Lesa, James has illustrated works for other well-known authors, including Jacqueline Woodson, Carole Boston Weatherford, and Deborah Hopkinson. He also paints murals, including three murals for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Nic Stone

Nic Stone

Nic Stone is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin, the novel that launched her career and encourages readers of all ages to examine the biases in their own lives and to have honest discussions about race in today’s world. Nic’s mission is to create stories that speak to kids underrepresented in YA literature today. Her aim is to not only create windows in which young people are introduced to new perspectives but also mirrors in which children see their experiences and identities fully represented. Born and raised in a suburb of Atlanta, GA, Nic grew up with a wide range of cultures, religions, and backgrounds, and constantly strives to bring diverse voices and stories to her work. All of her novels have been widely embraced by teens and adults and have been the recipients of numerous accolades, awards, and starred reviews. In addition to Dear Martin, her books include Dear Justyce, Blackout, and a middle-grade novel, Clean Getaway, all New York Times bestsellers. She has also published Odd One Out, Jackpot, Black Panther novels Shuri and Shuri: The Vanished, as well as Fast Pitch. A Spelman College graduate, Nic lives in Atlanta with her family. 

Photo Credit: Nigel Livingstone

Raúl the Third

Raúl the Third

Raúl the Third is an award-winning illustrator, author, and artist living in Boston. His work centers around the contemporary Mexican-American experience and his memories of growing up in El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Lowriders in Space, a graphic novel Raúl illustrated, was nominated for a Texas Bluebonnet Award, and Raúl was awarded the Pura Belpré Award for Illustration for its sequel, Lowriders to the Center of the Earth. The picture book, ¡Vamos! Let’s Go to The Market!, was the first book that Raúl both wrote and illustrated, with colors by Elaine Bay, and it received a Pura Belpré Honor for Illustration. ¡Vamos! Let’s Go Eat, the next installment in Raúl’s Vamos series, won the Pura Belpré Award for Illustration, and ¡Vamos! Let’s Cross the Bridge was recently published. Raúl has also recently released the first two books in his new early reader series, El Toro & Friends: Training Day and Tag Team.

Angie Thomas

Angie Thomas

Angie Thomas was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi, as indicated by her accent. She is a former teen rapper who can still rap if needed. Angie is an inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Myers Grant, awarded by We Need Diverse Books. Her debut novel, The Hate U Give, debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, winning the ALA’s William C. Morris Debut Award and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award (USA), the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize (UK), and the Deutscher Jugendliterapreis (Germany). Her book was adapted into a critically acclaimed film from Fox 2000, starring Amandla Stenberg and directed by George Tillman, Jr. Angie’s second novel, On the Come Up, is a #1 New York Times bestseller as well, and a film version is in development with Paramount Pictures, with Angie acting as a producer. Angie also released Find Your Voice: A Guided Journal to Writing Your Truth, as a tool to help aspiring writers tell their stories before returning to the world of Garden Heights with Concrete Rose. This prequel to The Hate U Give focuses on seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.

Photo Credit: Imani Khayyam

Eric L. Tribunella

Eric L. Tribunella

Eric L. Tribunella is a professor of English and Executive Associate Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has written influential works of children’s literature scholarship, including Melancholia and Maturation: The Use of Trauma in American Children's Literature and two editions of Reading Children's Literature: A Critical Introduction, co-authored with Carrie Hintz and a staple in many college-level children’s literature courses. He has also edited a critical edition of Edward Prime-Stevenson's 1891 novel, Left to Themselves, and, in conjunction with Carolyn J. Brown and Ellen Hunter Ruffin, A de Grummond Primer: Highlights of the Children’s Literature Collection. A long-time member of the Children’s Literature Association, his essay, "Between Boys: Edward Stevenson's Left to Themselves (1891) and the Birth of Gay Children's Literature," received the organization’s award for an outstanding article of literary criticism. 

Donna Washington

Donna Washington

Donna Washington is a storyteller and author who has performed at countless storytelling festivals, schools, and libraries, sharing captivating stories with audiences of all ages. She has published an anthology, A Pride of African Tales, illustrated by Festival keynote James Ransome, as well as picture books, including Boo Stew, The Story of Kwanzaa, Li’l Rabbit's Kwanzaa, and A Big Spooky House. As a recording artist, she has released multiple albums, such as Live and Learn: The Exploding Frog and Other Stories, Fun, Foolery, and Folktales, and The Sword and the Rose. Her albums have received numerous honors, including a Parent’s Choice Award, a Storytelling World Award, an iParenting Media Excellent Product Award, and Children’s Music Web Awards. Drawing on her performance experiences, Donna offers workshops about storytelling, writing, and creative drama for teachers and librarians.

Back to top

Ezra Jack Keats Award Ceremony
It is a great honor to host the presentation of the EJK Awards to this year's winners and honorees. Meet these early career authors and illustrators, hear about their work, their artistic processes, and who influenced and encouraged them to pursue their artistic dreams.

More EJK event info coming soon!

Back to top

Live and recorded breakout sessions will be available to all registered attendees.  More info coming soon!

Back to top

Breakout bios will be available in Feb 2022 

Back to top

Tentative Daily Schedules

8:30 a.m. CST 
Welcome Session

9-10 a.m. CST 
Breakout Sessions

10:15-11:15 a.m. CST
Breakout Sessions

Noon-1:30 p.m. CST Keynote Session
Coleen Salley Storytelling Session
Donna Washington

2-3:30 p.m. CST Keynote Session
de Grummond Children's Literature Lecture
Lesa Cline-Ransome and James Ransome

4-5:30 p.m. CST Keynote Session
Southern Miss School of Library and Information Science Lecture
Eric L. Tribunella

9-10:30 a.m. CST Keynote Session
Jen Bryant

11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. CST Keynote Session
Southern Miss Medallion Session
Brian Selznick

1-2:30 p.m. CST Keynote Session
Ezra Jack Keats Award Ceremony

3-4 p.m. CST
Breakout Sessions

4:15-5:15 p.m. CST
Breakout Sessions

7-8 p.m. CST Keynote Session
EJK Documentary Screening and Panel Discussion

9-10:30 a.m. CST Keynote Session
In Conversation with Nic Stone and Angie Thomas

10:45-11:45 a.m. CST
Breakout Sessions

Noon-1:30 p.m. CST Keynote Session
Raúl The Third

1:45-2:45 p.m. CST
Breakout Sessions

3-4 p.m. CST
Breakout Sessions

Back to top

Contact Us

Fay B. Kaigler Children's Book Festival

Cook Library
118 College Dr. #5146
Hattiesburg, MS 30406

Hattiesburg Campus

Campus Map

Email
Karen.rowellFREEMississippi

Phone
601.266.4228