Children’s Festival of Reading May 31

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 31

Posted: 05/23/2008
Knox County Public Library is pleased to present the 4th annual Children's Festival of Reading from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on May 31 in World's Fair Park. The Festival is a midday frolic with writers, illustrators, storytellers, ventriloquists, aliens and characters of all sorts. Set to the theme "Starship Adventures," the Festival promises to be an out of this world experience. While there, all attendees, parents, teens, and toddlers, are encouraged to sign up for one of the Library's summer reading programs.

This year's Festival features #1 New York Times best selling author and illustrator, Mo Willems, best known for his Caldecott Honor picture books Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity. The American Library Association bestows the Caldecott Medal on the artist who created the most distinguished picture book of the year.

The Library is also pleased to host Ruth White, author of Belle Prater's Boy, which received the prestigious Newbery Honor for the most distinguished American children's book published the previous year. Graphic Novelist and creator of Men In Black, Lowell Cunningham will make a presentation and be available in the teen area. Cunningham lives in Knoxville and once worked for the Knox County Public Library.

Other authors include poet Allan Wolf, illustrator Meredith Liddiard, writer Tere Stouffer, illustrator Robert J. Blake, and naturalist Doris Gove.

NEW THIS YEAR is a Science Lab featuring Mad Science. Audiences of all ages should be prepared for hands-on science experiences that are as entertaining as they are educational. Mad Science is proud to introduce festival-goers to a world of discovery while sparking their imaginations.

Giant Alien Puppets will make a rare earthly appearance and parade around the grounds. All visitors of any terrestrial nature are invited to join in.

Other activities include arts and crafts, storytelling, music, hay rides, booksellers, over 50 community booths and vendors, food, a romp through the interactive fountain and a trip up the Sunsphere.

The Children's Festival of Reading is made possible through the generous support of its sponsors: Books-A-Million, ORNL Credit Union, Wal-mart, National Endowment of the Arts, Humanities Tennessee, Friends of the Knox County Public Library, Tennessee Arts Commission, Downtown Knoxville, Sam's Club #6572, Mayfield Dairy, Knoxville News Sentinel, B97.5, WBIR TV10, and Comcast.

For a full schedule of events and more information, please visit or call 215-8783.


#1 New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Mo Willems is best known for his Caldecott Honor picture books Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity. In addition to such picture books as Leonardo the Terrible Monster, Edwina the Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct, and Time to Pee!, Mo created the Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal Elephant and Piggie books, a series of early readers, and published You Can Never Find a Rickshaw When it Monsoons, an annotated cartoon journal sketched during a year-long voyage around the world in 1990-91.

The New York Times Book Review called Mo "the biggest new talent to emerge thus far in the 00's."

Mo began his career as a writer and animator for television, garnering six Emmy Awards for his writing on Sesame Street. He created Nickelodeon's The Off-Beats and Cartoon Network's Sheep in the Big City and was headwriter for Codename: Kids Next Door. He lives in Brooklyn, New York with his family.


Ruth White's novel, Belle Prater's Boy, was named a 1997 Newbery Honor Book. Ms. White and her sisters grew up in the coal-mining town of Whitewood, Virginia, where they played in the hills and creeks, enjoyed family read-alouds, and sang every song they heard. Ms. White has been a teacher and a school librarian in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Other books by Ms. White include Sweet Creek Holler 1988, Memories of Summer (2000), Weeping Willow (1992), Buttermilk Hill (2004), Tadpole (2003) and the sequel to Belle Prater's Boy, The Search for Belle Prater (2005).


Lowell Cunningham is the creator and writer of the comic book series Men in Black, which spawned the 1997 film Men in Black, as well as its 2002 sequel (Men in Black II) and the animated television program Men in Black: The Series.

Cunningham has also worked with John Hudgens on several popular and award-winning Star Wars parodies, including Crazy Watto, Darth Vader's Psychic Hotline, The Jedi Hunter, and Sith Apprentice. A former employee of Knox County Public Library, he currently resides in Knoxville, Tennessee.