English students attend Virginia Children's Book Festival

11-06-2015

Virginia Wesleyan English students immersed themselves in the bright and colorful world of children’s literature Oct. 16-17 at the Virginia Children’s Book Festival. Held at Longwood University, the annual festival celebrates and encourages reading by youth of all ages and features some of the best children’s authors and illustrators in the country. With support from The Lighthouse: Center for Exploration and Discovery, VWC students in professor Susan Larkin’s “Children’s Literature” course had the opportunity to meet and hear presentations by award-winning authors like Kwame Alexander, Jacqueline Woodson, and Cece Bell. All three authors are 2015 Newbery Award winners, celebrated for their work by the Association for Library Service to Children. Cece Bell won the Newbery Honor Award for El Deafo, a book Larkin’s students are reading this semester. Throughout the festival, students also met Brenda Chapman, co-director of the Disney-Pixar film Brave and the first woman to win an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature; Sophie Blackall, illustrator for the popular Ivy and Bean books and the recently released Finding Winnie (view photo); Teri Kanefield, winner of the Jane Adam Peace Association Award and author of The Girl From the Tar Paper School; John Bemelmans Marciano, author of the Madeline books and the upcoming Witches of Benevento series; and many other writers and illustrators. “Children’s Literature” is an upper-level English course focusing on literary and cultural theories. Students study texts varying from contemporary and canonical novels to picture books. More