Superheroes come in many forms

Published 11:37 am Tuesday, October 17, 2017

In its fourth year, The Virginia Children’s Book Festival (VCBF) slated to begin this Thursday, promises to be one of the finest events in the Heart of Virginia and downtown Farmville.

According to a Longwood University press release, as in years past, the VCBF is anchored by a star-studded lineup of acclaimed authors and illustrators in the country. The VCBF continues to be a free event, with every presentation and workshop open to the public.

The release cited that students who attend the VCBF, set for Oct. 19-21 at Longwood University, will laugh, shout, draw and learn from 27 authors and illustrators, including some fan favorites who have returned each year since the festival’s inception in 2015. Authors including Todd Parr, Sophie Blackall, Timothy Basil Ering and John Marciano have captivated the imaginations of more than 10,000 children so far.

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“The 2017 lineup features Newbery and Caldecott honorees — the most prestigious awards for children’s books — a National Book Award finalist and several New York Times best-selling authors, in addition to up-and-coming writers who are on the cusp of becoming household names,” officials said in the release. The VCBF again promises three days of dynamic and innovative programs designed to inspire children from across the commonwealth to read — or write and illustrate their own stories.

“We are one of the few book festivals in the country that bring in so many school groups,” said Juanita Giles, founder and executive director of the festival. “We’re proud of that for a few reasons. First, kids who come back year after year develop relationships with authors — and the authors remember the children as they grow. That’s an invaluable connection.”

This year, the festival has added more comic book creators and graphic novelists to its Saturday programming, which will be focused more on families and interactive workshops. Also new will be special programming designed for children with special needs, offered in partnership with Longwood Speech, Hearing and Learning Services at 311 W. Third St.

Superheroes come in many forms and in our book, Juanita Giles ranks right up there with the best of them.