Nation’s top authors to speak at UGA’s 39th annual Children’s Literature Conference

Nation’s top authors to speak at UGA’s 39th annual Children’s Literature Conference

Athens, Ga. – Some of the nation’s top authors and illustrators of children’s books will speak during the 39th Annual Conference on Children’s Literature on Feb. 29-March 1, at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education Conference Center and Hotel in Athens.

The popular conference is a celebration of children’s literature and the culmination of the Georgia Book Awards program that involves thousands of Georgia children in reading.

Leading children’s book authors and illustrators, including winners of the Georgia Children’s Book Award and the Georgia Children’s Picture Storybook Award, are invited each year to the conference to speak and answer audience questions.

This year’s conference features Brian Pinkney, Caldecott Honor Medalist for The Faithful Friend and Duke Ellington; Cynthia Kadohata, winner of the 2005 Newbery Medal for Kira-Kira; Ian Ogilvy, winner of the 2007 Children’s Book Award for Measle and the Wrathmonk; David Wiesner, three-time Caldecott Award winner for Tuesday, The Three Pigs, and Flotsam; and Mo Willems, winner of the 2007 Children’s Picture Storybook Award for Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, a 2004 Caldecott Medal Honor Book.

The conference, sponsored by the UGA College of Education’s department of language and literacy education, is attended by hundreds of K-8th grade teachers and library media specialists, as well as many public librarians throughout the Southeast.

A longtime fixture on the April calendars of children’s literature aficionados in the state and region, the conference has coincided the past few years with the date of critical, standardized testing in most of Georgia’s counties. Since counties require that all school personnel be in school to assist with the administration of the tests, planners have moved the conference to Feb. 29-March 1.

The Georgia Children’s Book Award was established in 1968 by Sheldon Root, a professor in UGA’s department of language education. The purpose of the award is to foster a love of reading in the children of Georgia and to introduce them to a collection of books worthy of receiving an award for literary excellence.

In addition to the author sessions, the storyteller luncheon and the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl State Finals, autographing is one of the most popular events of the conference. Typically, each speaker is available for autographing several times during the conference. In addition to books by all of the session speakers, other children’s books and professional books are also available for sale at the conference.

For information about the conference and Georgia Book Awards Program, visit http://www.coe.uga.edu/gcba/.

For conference registration and tentative conference agenda, visit http://www.georgiacenter.uga.edu/conferences/2008/Feb/29/child_lit.phtml.