Broward County Library Offers Two Days of Learning
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Literacy and Laughter at the Annual Conference on Children’s Literature and 11th Annual Ashley Bryan Art Series and the Children’s BookFest

Annual Conference on Children’s Literature and 11th Annual Ashley Bryan Art Series: “Reading Is Not Optional" is the theme for Broward County Library's joint 26th Annual Conference on Children's Literature and 11th Annual Ashley Bryan Art Series, to be held April 26 at the Main Library, 100 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301, in the first floor auditorium. The day-long event offers a free learning opportunity to those who encourage children through books including teachers, parents, librarians, media specialists and child care workers. Registration and refreshments will begin at 9 a.m.

Author Walter Dean Myers"Reading Is Not Optional" embodies the work of the keynote speakers for the event, Walter Dean Myers and Shane Evans. Author Walter Dean Myers is the 2012-13 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and is the critically acclaimed author of more than 100 books – National Book Award finalists Monster, Autobiography of My Dead Brother and Lockdown among them – and the winner of five Coretta Scott King Awards and two Newbery Honors. He is considered one of the preeminent writers for young people.

Author/illustrator Shane EvansShane Evans, artist, author, musician and illustrator, received international recognition as the 2012 Coretta Scott King Award-winner for Underground. The author of more than 30 books, Evan’s accolades include The Boston Globe Horn Book Award, the 2011 NAACP Image Award and the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children.

Additional Conference/Art Series Guests:

  • Gerald Hausman is an award-winning writer, editor, teacher and storyteller who has published more than 70 books for children and adults and has performed storytelling throughout the U.S. and Europe. He has received 35 awards and honors from the American Folklore Society, Bank Street College of Education, Parent’s Choice and the American Library Association.
  • Early childhood educational consultant Jane Kitson is the author of over 350 original songs and fingerplays and her presentation provides dynamic strategies for enriching early literacy programs. Emphasis is placed on the importance that rhythm, rhyme and repetition have in developing “ready-t- read” skills.

The Conference and Art Series are free and open to the public. Presenters’ books and CDs will be available for purchase and autographing. Parking is available in the adjacent City Park garage (east side of the library) for $1.25 per hour. It is sponsored by the Friends of Fort Lauderdale Libraries, the Friends of the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center, the Florida Center for the Book and the Broward Public Library Foundation. For further information, contact Youth Services Administration at 954-357-7336,

Storybook characters entertain at Children’s BookFest 2012.Children’s BookFest: In celebration of El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), Broward County Library presents the annual Children’s BookFest on Saturday, April 27, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the West Regional Library, 8601 W. Broward Blvd., Plantation, FL 33324. This year’s Caribbean-themed, free literary event lets youngsters ages 3 to 10 and their families experience a world of stories and fun. There will be a pre-celebration to kick off the festival on Saturday, April 20 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Hollywood Library, 2600 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, FL 33020. El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), is a national celebration of children and reading.

Children's BookFest offers children the opportunity to meet famous authors, hear professional storytellers, see top-notch children’s shows and interact with costumed characters. Upon arrival, children are encouraged to pick up a passport to begin their journey, and the first 1,000 young visitors will receive a free book to take home. There will be performers and storytellers representing the Bahamas, Cuba, Haiti and Jamaica, to name a few. Children will have the opportunity to be creative at the arts and crafts tables, get their face painted for free and enjoy food trucks on the premises from Gourmet Truck Expo. Featured events at Children’s BookFest will include:

  • 2012 Coretta Scott King Award winner Shane Evans, author of Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom, will entertain with his stories and music. He has more than 30 books to his credit including the Shanna book series, which is the basis for the widely popular Disney Channel Shanna Show
  • Stories will be shared and books will be signed by Gerald Hausman, an award-winning writer and multicultural storyteller who has published over 70 books for children and adults. He will share stories of his time in Jamaica and read from his book, The Boy From Nine Miles, which begins in the small village in Jamaica where Bob Marley opened his eyes to the world and to singing.
  • Performance of Haitian folkloric dances and stories will be presented by the Louinès Louinis Haitian Dance Theatre, Inc., a well-known dance company that keeps in touch with the ancient traditions of the many cultures that found new roots in Haiti all unified through the overwhelming influence of Africa.
  • An incredible bilingual exploration of Latin-American folktales using words, rhythms and movement that begins with the simple phrase, "Había una vez/Once upon a time . . . " Flowing between Spanish and English, storyteller Carrie Sue Ayvar chooses from her large repertoire of personal and traditional tales to connect people, languages and cultures through her stories.
  • Performances by notable children’s entertainer Salty Sue (aka Suzy Hammer), a seriously silly pirate who brings music, magic, original tales of the sea and rich pirate lore from Florida history
  • Music and dance from the Bahamas Junkanoo Shakers and Mocko Jumbie Stilt Dancers.

Children’s BookFest is funded by the Broward Public Library Foundation with support from Broward Family Life Magazine, the Miami Herald, the Friends of West Regional Library and The Charles F. and Esther M. Frye Foundation. Pre-celebration of the Children’s BookFest is funded by the Broward Public Library Foundation with additional support from the Friends of the Hollywood Branch Library.

 Books by Conference and Art Series Guests @ BCL:

Book Jacket for: Autobiography of my dead brother Autobiography of My Dead Brother, by Walter Dean Myers
Book Jacket for: Lockdown Lockdown, by Walter Dean Myers
Book Jacket for: Monster Monster, by Walter Dean Myers
Book Jacket for: Here we go round Here We Go Round, by Alice McGill/Illustrated by Shane Evans
Book Jacket for: Underground Underground, by Shane Evans
Book Jacket for: We march We March, by Shane Evans
Book Jacket for: The boy from Nine Miles : the early life of Bob Marley The Boy from Nine Miles, by Gerald Hausman and Cedella Marley
Book Jacket for: Night flight Night Flight, by Gerald Hausman
Book Jacket for: The Jacob ladder The Jacob Ladder, by Gerald Hausman