Teachers, students, families, librarians and all who love children’s books are invited to the 2021 virtual Children’s Book Festival on Friday, Nov. 12.
Co-hosted by the CU Boulder School of Education and the city’s largest independent bookshop, the Boulder Book Store, the festival will feature 10 award-winning authors. Two interactive author panels will be arranged by grade levels, including a morning session from 9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. for grades K-4 and an afternoon session from 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. for grades 5-8.
Both sessions are free and open to the public, and attendees should register at colorado.edu/event/bookfest for one or both sessions to be held virtually on Zoom.
All Colorado registrants are offered a voucher for one free book, while supplies last, by the featured authors and will be available for pickup at the Boulder Book Store. The festival aims to build interest in acclaimed authors and books, particularly authors of color and books that represent diverse cultures.
The 2021 featured authors and books include:
Sheila Modir and Jeffrey Kashou, authors of The Proudest Color,
Yuyi Morales, author of Bright Star, Lucero in Spanish
Traci Sorell, author of We Are Still Here!: Native American Truths Everyone Should Know,
Tricia Elam Walker, author of Dream Street,
Jane Yolen, author of the Leather Apron Club,
Karla Arenas Valenti, author of Lotería,
Tracey Baptiste, author of African Icons,
Varian Johnson, author of Playing the Cards You’ve Dealt, and
Jewell Parker Rhodes, author of Paradise on Fire
Festival attendees also benefit from the educational resources, such as book guides, digital book trailers, classroom projects and more, that have been created by CU Boulder education students and will be available for free download on the festival website.
This is the third annual Children’s Book Festival, and this year more than 500 books are set to be distributed for event attendees, teachers and throughout the community. Additionally, nine K-12 teachers and their classes were selected through an application process to participate in a personal visit with an author in a private Zoom session, and each teacher will receive a teaching book set.
“As longtime supporters and participants of the festival, we are deeply indebted for this opportunity,” said educator Michelle Pearson. “We have 33 students who will be reading with us and joining in the special author visit. They have this wonderful chance to read this special story, which connects to the west and the outdoors and heritage, and they will be creating art and online reflection projects. I am exceptionally thrilled and the kids will be too.”
Research shows that connections with real authors and increased access to books are some of the most powerful ways to develop students as readers and writers, and it is important to engage parents and caregivers in these experiences.
As longtime supporters and participants of the festival, we are deeply indebted for this opportunity,” said educator Michelle Pearson. “We have 33 students who will be reading with us and joining in the special author visit. They have this wonderful chance to read this special story, which connects to the west and the outdoors and heritage, and they will be creating art and online reflection projects. I am exceptionally thrilled and the kids will be too.”
“In addition to connecting children and educators to amazing books and authors, the festival also involves preservice teachers enrolled in our Children’s Literature course in the creation of free book discussion guides, book trailers and author slideshows,” said Bridget Dalton, associate professor emerita of literacy studies in the School of Education and co-director of the Children’s Book Festival with Jackie Colt.
“Our CU Boulder students develop their curriculum design skills while supporting teachers in the field – an experience that they find quite meaningful. And, of course, they enjoy hearing from the authors in person on the webinar.”
The festival is co-sponsored by the Boulder Book Store and the CU Boulder School of Education with support from a CU Boulder 2021-22 Outreach Award. The event is organized by a committee of dedicated volunteers that includes CU Boulder supporters, alumni, faculty and staff and Boulder Book Store staff in collaboration with community partners, including the CU Boulder Libraries, the Women Investing in the School of Education (WISE) board, St. Vrain Valley School District, Boulder Valley School District, Adams 12 Five Star Schools, Denver Public Schools, and the School of Education Development Advisory Board Outreach Committee. Many of the committee members, often teachers or former educators, have hand-delivered books and they carefully read and review each of the festival’s book selections.
“It's been fantastic to work with such a dedicated group of book lovers to put together this festival for the past three years,” said Stephanie Schindhelm, marketing and promotions manager for the Boulder Book Store. “We're delighted that we've been able to get so many wonderful authors for the festival this year.”
To learn more about the Children’s Book Festival authors, books and educational resources or to register, visit colorado.edu/event/bookfest.