The Virginia Festival of the Book celebrates all readers, including those who may be just beginning their adventures in reading. StoryFest is a special lineup of festival events geared particularly for the young and young at heart.
A few of the highlights:
- On Saturday at noon, author, illustrator, and animation director Eric Wight will be at the Omni hotel. His work includes the Frankie Pickle series; My Dead Girlfriend; the comic book adaptation of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay; The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist; as well as other work for Walt Disney, Warner Bros., and Cartoon Network.
- Meet Cris Arbo, author of What’s In the Garden? for a book signing at Alakazam Toys on Saturday at 1:00.
- The inquisitive Boston terrier who inspired The Adventures of Mirabelle will be at Shenanigans with author Michael Muller on Saturday at 11:00am.
- Also on Saturday afternoon, Oakley’s Gently Used Books will host its popular annual event, the Kids Book Swap. Kids are encouraged to bring their gently used books and trade them for new ones.
Don’t have time to bring your children to one of these events? The Virginia Festival of the Book might be coming to them!
The Festival has scheduled more than forty in-school presentations. Students at local elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as many private schools, will have the opportunity to attend several book festival programs throughout the week without even having to leave school. These programs are open only to these school communities, so students have the privilege of being the exclusive audience to many celebrated authors (and, at some schools, a dog). Check the full list of in-school presentations to see if one is coming to your child’s school.
Who do we have to thank for the variety of opportunities for children at the book festival? We would be remiss not to mention the efforts of three women—Nancy Brockman, Mildred Spicer, and Jean Wilhelm—who have been instrumental in expanding outreach to children and special-needs populations at Festival events. These women have demonstrated extraordinary devotion to the Charlottesville and Albemarle community, and particularly to the individuals in our community with disabilities. In addition to their work with the Festival, they have extensive experience in local arts and service organizations, including the VSA Charlottesville/Albemarle, Charlottesville Parks and Recreation’s Therapeutic Division, and the Piedmont Council for the Arts.
Brockman, Spicer, and Wilhelm will be honored for their work at the opening ceremony for the Festival on Wednesday, March 20, at the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library in Charlottesville. This event is open to the public and begins at noon.
Mildred Spicer will also moderate a discussion with Jim Herndon on Friday, March 22. Herndon’s first book, Jack’s Shop—Beyond the Front Porch, explores his experiences with disability during his childhood in rural Virginia and its effect on his adult life. This discussion will take place at the Herman Key Recreation Center and is hosted by the Charlottesville Parks and Recreation Therapeutic Division and the VSA Charlottesville/Albemarle. Please note that this event is closed to the general public.