Knoxville, TN - On May 16, 2015, super heroes of all sizes are invited to don their favorite cape and show off their super powers at Knox County Public Library’s 11th annual Children’s Festival of Reading in World’s Fair Park. The theme of this year's
festival is “every hero has a story.”  The heroic line-up of authors and illustrators would impress even the Justice League.

Dan Santat, the 2015 recipient of the prestigious Caldecott Medal for The adventures of Beekle: the unimaginary friend, will headline the day. American Library Association's Caldecott Medal honors the artist of the most distinguished American picture book.  Mr. Santat will be joined by the authors and artists behind such beloved characters as Clementine, Flat Stanley, Amos McGee, the Bailey School Kids, Peter Nimble, and many others.  Please see  bios below.

• May 16, 2015; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• World's Fair Park in downtown Knoxville
• Sign up for a summer of reading clubs
• Admission and parking are free

BOOM! Festival goers will enjoy arts and crafts, storytelling, games, music, food, and dozens of interactive enrichment activities from community groups. They can even cook up some serious fun in Jr. League of Knoxville’s Kids in the Kitchen tent.

POW! Little super heroes can chase a working robot or participate in an experiment at the Science Village presented by The Muse and L&N Stem Academy. Join East Tennessee PBS’s Book Parade, and watch local child performers show off their budding talent in the Amphitheater.

KABLAM! Watch performances by world-class children's book authors and illustrators, then meet and ask them questions at the Authors' Tent, and even get an autograph!

The Children's Festival of Reading is the kick off event for the Library's summer reading programs. Research shows that reading over the summer prevents the accumulated effects of academic loss known as the "summer slide." Children who participate in summer reading tend to develop a love of reading and maintain their academic skills.


Dan Santat
As the 2015 winner of the prestigious Caldecott Medal for his work on The adventures of Beekle: the unimaginary friend, Dan Santat joins a legion of award-winning authors and illustrators who have graced the stages of the Children's Festival of Reading over the years. Prior to winning the biggest of all prizes in his field, Mr. Santat wrote and illustrated the equally excellent graphic novel Sidekicks and the picture book, The Guild of Geniuses.  In addition to his print work, Mr. Santat is also the creator of the Disney animated show The Replacements.

Sara Pennypacker
Best known as the author of the popular Clementine series, Sara Pennypacker has also written several picture books and middle grade novels, and has contributed to four titles in the classic Flat Stanley series. Her books have won numerous awards, including the Golden Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and a Christopher Award, which is given for media that “affirm the highest values of the human spirit”. Ms. Pennypacker currently splits her time between Massachusetts and Florida.
Erin E. & Philip C. Stead
Erin and Philip Stead are the talented married duo who created the Caldecott Award-winning picture book A Sick Day for Amos McGee. Together they also produced Bear Has a Story to Tell, which was named an E.B. White Read-Aloud Honor Award. Erin is also the illustrator of And Then It’s Spring and If You Want to See a Whale by author Julie Fogliano. Philip has written and illustrated several picture books, including Hello, My Name Is Ruby and A Home for Bird. The Steads live in Ann Arbor, MI, and their next collaboration, Lenny and Lucy, will be released in October.

Jonathan Auxier
According to his webpage, Jonathon Auxier writes strange stories for strange children. But then again, we like strange and so do a bunch of other folks if you count up all his awards. His first novel, Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes, was an ABA New Voices pick and a BookPage Magazine "Best Book" of 2011. His new book The Night Gardener, a Junior Library Guild selection, an ABA IndieNext pick, an Amazon Editor's Pick of the Month, and a finalist for the Governor General's Award, The Silver Birch Award, and the Texas Bluebonnet Award. He lives in Pittsburgh with his family and their adorable pet umbrella.

Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
From her farm in East Tennessee, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley has been successfully juggling writing with farm chores since 1998. Since then she’s written books for children of all ages, including picture books, informational books about science, and historical fiction for middle grade readers. Her book Weaver’s Daughter was selected by the Tennessee Library Association to represent Tennessee on a book list for the American Library Association in 2005. Her most recent book is the critically-acclaimed World War II novel, The War That Saved My Life.
R. Gregory Christie
Having the New York Times name your work one of the 10 best illustrated children’s book of the year once is mighty high praise, but twice? Well, that’s just super peachy! Meet R. Gregory Christie: a force to be reckoned with. Awards? Yeah, he has a few, but who’s counting?  Okay, maybe we are!  What with an NAACP Image Award, the aforementioned two New York Times’ 10 Best Illustrated Children’s Book of the Year Awards, and three Coretta Scott King Honor Awards for Illustration, you might say he has a little talent. His most recent book is Philip Reid Saves the Statue of Freedom by Steven Sellers Lapham and Dr. Eugene Walton. In addition to his illustration work, Mr. Christie currently operates the wonderful children’s bookstore Gas-Art Gifts in Decatur, GA.
Debbie Dadey
Some say teaching elementary school may be the root of Debbie Dadey’s inspiration. Whatever her muse, it was powerful. As the author of more than 125 books for children, including the bestselling The Adventures of the Bailey School Kidsseries, her work is lining bookshelves in kids’ rooms across the nation (but we suspect they are more likely to be on the floor by the bed after a good night’s read).  Ms. Dadey has written several more popular series for new and reluctant readers, including Keyholders and the newest one, Mermaid Tales. Ms. Dadey currently lives in Pennsylvania, but she came to her senses and will soon be moving to Sevier County.
Donna Gephart
You have to wonder what kind of middle school experience Donna Gephart had.  After all, she's known for her book, How to Survive Middle School in addition to Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen. We suspect she resonates with middle schoolers everywhere. Her books have won several awards, including the Sid Fleischman Humor Award and the Florida State Book Award for the book As If Being 12 ¾ Isn’t Bad Enough, My Mother Is Running for President. Her most recent novel is the enticingly titled Death by Toilet Paper, which has received rave reviews from 12 year olds everyone. Ms. Gephart currently lives in South Florida.

M.H. Herlong
M.H. Herlong's newest book, Buddy, is part of a long legacy of books about boys and their dog -- this one set in New Orleans during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  Her previous work, Jefferson's Sons, includes the imagined life of  the children of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. Before her career as an author of books for children and teens, Ms. Herlong spent time teaching, sailing, practicing law, and raising four sons. Buddy is a nominee for the 2015-2016 Volunteer State Book Award in the Intermediate division. M.H. Herlong has lived all over the South, from South Carolina to Florida and Virginia, and currently resides in New Orleans.
Laura Vaccaro Seeger
It's not easy to create an engaging book for early readers.  But Laura Vaccaro Seeger has the magic touch. As the recipient of  two Caldecott Honors for illustration and two Theodor Seuss Geisel Honors for best books for beginning readers, she is in a rarefied group of authors and illustrators. Beyond the awards though, lies the true test - do kids like them?  Yes. Just ask the gazillions of children who read the popular Dog and Bear series, First the Egg, Green, and One Boy. Ms. Seeger was born and raised in New York, where she still lives with her family and dog Copper who is the star of the Dog and Bearseries. Her most recent books are Bully and Dog and Bear: Tricks and Treats.
Aaron Nigel Smith
Musician Aaron Nigel Smith’s “Call to Action” is to get kids and families to sing, dance, and play together. His FUNdamentals of Music and Movement arts program is currently used in early education centers around the country. His musical recordings for children have won awards from several parenting groups, including Parents Choice and iParenting Media. In 2009, he collaborated with Ziggy Marley on the popular children’s CD, B Is for Bob. Mr. Smith also inspires children around the world through music outreach programs sponsored by the non-profit One World Chorus, which he founded with his wife Diedre in 2009. One World Chorus’ debut CD, Welcome to the Village, was released in 2012 to critical acclaim.

Festival sponsors
Knox County Public Library's Children's Festival of Reading is made possible through the generous support of the Friends of the Library, Knox County Public Library Foundation, Central Business Impovement District (Downtown Knoxville), the Jane L. Pettway Foundation, Humanities Tennessee, Tennessee Arts Commission, Pilot Flying J, ORNL Federal Credit Union, East Tennessee Pediatric Dentistry, Members of Knoxville City Council, Knoxville News Sentinel,  B97.5, East Tennessee PBS, The Muse, and Junior League of Knoxville.