Children's Festival of Reading May 18

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Children's Festival of Reading May 18

Posted: 05/10/2013
What do Superman, Curious George, Lunch Lady, and dinosaurs have in common? Knoxville and May 18. This year's Children's Festival of Reading promises to be epic -- Titanic even. As one of the country's oldest and largest literary festivals just for children, the event has gained a reputation as being an important stop for children's authors and illustrators.

This year's line up continues the tradition of bringing in some of the most highly acclaimed talents in children's literature including Sharon Draper, five-time recipient of the Coretta Scott King Author Award and National Teacher of the Year. Jarrett Krosoczka is renowned for his "Lunch Lady" series of graphic novels and "Punk Farm" books. Bob Shea has pitted unsuspecting librarians and just about everyone else against dinosaurs in his popular "Dinosaur vs. ..." series. Also joining the Festival is the First Class Maid Jaynee of the Titanic Museum and Allan Wolf whose book,The Watch That Ends the Night: Voices from the Titanic, explores the notorious shipwreck in verse. Emmy Award winner, Bobby Norfolk brings his spellbinding storytelling skills back to the stage of the Festival. Joining him is his very talented wife, Sherry Norfolk, who is a storyteller and educator in her own right. Jim Gill will have the crowd crooning with his latest musical book, Soup Opera. Keep a look out for Curious George who will be roaming the Festival along with other storybook characters.

It all takes place on Saturday, May 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in World's Fair Park at the 9th annual kick off celebration for Knox County Public Library's summer reading programs. The event is free and open to the public. Free parking will be available in UT's 11th Street Garage as well as in the city lots downtown including Locust Street Garage, Market Square Garage and State Street Garage.

The Children's Festival of Reading celebrates the literary arts with six performance stages, a Parade of Books, arts and crafts, book sales, 50 community booths, food, music, storytelling, and tons of fun. Readers of all ages are encouraged to sign up for a summer of reading in one of the Library's summer programs.

"This Festival does an outstanding job of encouraging families in the adventure of reading," commented Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett. "There's something for everyone. It's the best blend of fun and education in an effort to get everyone to sign up for summer reading."

Joining the Festival for the first time is a live broadcast of WDVX's Saturday morning program called "Kidstuff with Sean McCullough."

Experiments in Science Village: Partnering with the L&N Stem Academy students, the Science Village hosts "Mr. Bond, The Science Guy" as he demonstrates jaw-dropping, mind-bending, awe-inspiring experiments in front of your very eyes! Robots Alive! will feature L&N Stem Academy students as they explain their robotic adventures. The UN-science Fair is where L&N Stem Academy students will show off their passion, enthusiasm, and know-how in experiments of their own.

New This Year: Junior League's Kids in the Kitchen brings all kinds of bouncing fun to the subject of childhood health and wellness. Good health for kids doesn't have to be all carrots and no cake. Drop by Kids in the Kitchen for everything from gardening to dance parties, and cooking demonstrations to karate. Families can learn how to live a balanced, healthy, and tasty life. Sponsored by Publix.


Knox County Public Library's Summer Library Club encourages the whole family to get reading during the summer break. Research shows that children who do not read over the summer can accumulate a loss up to one and a half years in academic skills. The simple act of reading will maintain those skills from May to August. Experts recommend reading 20 minutes a day for retention of skills. Other studies show that summer reading is the opportunity for students to become passionate readers as a result of choosing material that is personally interesting. Furthermore, when adults read in front of their children, they are modeling a value of reading, which will have an impact on their child's likelihood to continue reading for pleasure. Summer Library Clubs are available for all ages with rewards of up to $250 for children and teens. Adults can also participate by reading four books, which will enter them into a drawing for a prize package.

The Children's Festival of Reading is made possible by the generous support of the Friends of the Library, ORNL Federal Credit Union, Pilot Flying J, Humanities Tennessee, Tennessee Arts Commission, Titanic Museum Attraction, ORNL, Union Avenue Books, Knoxville News Sentinel, Kidsville News, Comcast, B97.5, and WBIR.

Learn more about the Children's Festival of Reading at or by calling 865-215-8767.