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Acclaimed Children's Literature Festival Returns to Frostburg State University

The Eighteenth Annual Spring Festival of Children's Literature at Frostburg State University, featuring a lineup of award-winning authors and illustrators, will be Friday and Saturday, April 27 and 28.

Each year, a "packed house" of librarians, educators, parents and students come to the FSU campus to share their love of children's literature and to learn more about the successful ways to share that love with children.

Reading ability, so important to success, can be proportionately related to desire and enjoyment. The more children enjoy reading, the more they read, and the better readers they become. In the "share and learn" atmosphere of the Literature Festival, adults, who direct children's learning, interact first-hand with authors and illustrators who bring characters to life, and inspire children to read.

The agenda includes small group sessions and large group presentations offered in a personal and relaxed environment. Topics range from particular application, such as using literacy centers in the school curriculum to enhance instruction, to the more tangible, like providing positive gender role models in children's literature.

The program offers diversity, with large and small group presentations and many opportunities for one-to-one interaction with colleagues and the featured authors and illustrators. An extensive book selection is available for purchase, and there will be opportunities to get books autographed. All of these opportunities are set in FSU's prime location, the Western Maryland mountains in the spring.

Event headliners are Henry Cole, Pamela Edwards, Robert Sabuda, and Susan Wojciechowski. The theme for the 2001 Festival weekend will be "The Magic of Paper, Pictures and Words."

Cole is an illustrator who started his career while studying forestry at Virginia Tech. This love of the outdoors and the observations that were required for his major has helped him to better visualize and illustrate the characters within his books. He has been working with Pamela Edwards since 1993. He has been an illustrator for books such as "Moosetache," "Barefoot" and "Some Smug Slug," which was selected as one of the top books of 1996 by the "School Library Journal" and "Children's Literature."

Edwards' love of reading, combined with her interest in children, has propelled her into writing. Always encouraged by her father as a child to read, Edwards first began writing after attending a children's literature conference with Cole, her future colleague. Her books, which include "Some Smug Slug," "Roar!" and "Four Famished Foxes and Fosdyke," illustrate her humorous writing style and incorporate lessons with each story.

Sabuda is an award-winning author-illustrator, best known for his pop-up books, which include "The Paper Dragon," "The Christmas Alphabet," "Tutankehmanes Gift" and "Kwanzaa Celebration." His outlook on life is much different from many other people, including the question of his career choice. Other authors feel that they are fulfilling a need for self-expression while enriching the experience of future generations, while Sabuda is simply fulfilling the need to eat.

Wojceichowski, award-winning author, mother and wife, brilliantly incorporates her family into her writing. Picture books such as "The Miracle of Jonathan Toomey" have captured the Kate Greenaway Medal and ALA Notable Book of the Year Award. Her chapter books appeal to young adolescence and incorporate a writing style that is heart warming and enlightening. In addition to the adult activities, The R. Margaret Hamilton Children's Hour for children aged 4 to 13 will be Friday, April 27, beginning at 4 p.m. Age-specific workshops are presented by the authors in which they share their work with children, as well as the process of writing, illustrating and the enjoyment it can bring. Registration is required for the sessions and can be arranged by contacting Andy or Bruce at (301) 687-4420.

The festival was the brainchild of FSU Professor William Bingman as he looked for a way to honor two colleagues, both of whom held children's literature as a number one love. Now in its 19th year, what began as a small gathering of children's literature enthusiasts has blossomed to over 350 eager participants. With a reputation as a premier event, the festival has become a testament to those who care about the art of Children's Literature and the passing on of this legacy.

Admission to the Festival is by registration only, and space is limited. Advance registration is required, and pre-orders are available for books that will be featured at the Festival. The Festival is administered by the FSU Foundation Inc. and sponsored by the FSU Department of Educational Professions and the Children's Literature Centre. For more information, contact Bingman at (301) 687-4420.

FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. To request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office, call (301) 687-4102, TDD (301) 687-7955.

For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589