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Bringing books to life

The Virginia Children’s Book Festival (VCBF), in its fifth year, is bringing the books of more than 20 authors and illustrators to life for thousands of students around the state. Longwood University, the Robert Russa Moton Museum and the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts (LCVA) have hosted the three-day festival, which is free and open to the public. Workshops and events have included a live mural painting by artist Monty Montgomery and illustrator LeUyen Pham; a live barber cutting and presentation by author Derrick Barnes and illustrator Gordon C. James, who wrote the Newbery Honor Book and Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book, “Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut”; and a workshop on how to be a spy by author of Spy Next Door Series Jay Cooper and game designer Russell Ginns. A keynote address, “Black Enough,” featuring National Book Award finalist Ibi Zoboi, and authors Lamar Giles, Nic Stone and Leah Henderson, was held Thursday at Longwood’s Blackwell Ballroom. On Friday at 5:30 p.m., the LCVA will be hosting a reception and gallery of Pham’s artwork in a exhibition called, “There’s No Such Thing as Little.” In the photo above, author Todd Parr, left, stands with artist Monty Montgomery and illustrator LeUyen Pham at a mural they and participants of the Virginia Children’s Book Festival are designing. See additional photos from the festival by clicking here.