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Annual bookfair attracts top children's writers
November 9, 1998

Leonard Everett Fisher, illustrator of more than 260 children's books and author of 80, will be one of the speakers at the 1998 Connecticut Book Fair which will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. November 14 and 15, at the Bishop Center.

"We've got a really good line-up this year of illustrators and writers," said Suzanne Staubach, manager of the general books department at the UConn Co-op. A total of 14 writers and artists from throughout New England involved in the making of children's books are scheduled to speak at the book fair this year.

This year's fair will bring creators with a variety of different backgrounds and perspectives, said Thomas Wilsted, director of the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center. Some of the speakers that will attend this year include Raouf Mama, who relates tales told to him as a child raised in West Africa, and Peter Spier, who was born in Amsterdam and served in the Royal Dutch Navy.

Along with the authors and illustrators, some favorite storybook characters such as Clifford the Big Red Dog, Bunnicula and Curious George will also make appearances. Children will have an opportunity to learn how to make puppets in workshops by the Puppet Arts Program at the University.

The money raised from the book fair will go towards the Northeast Children's Literature Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, which stores modern and historical children books along with archives of manuscripts and original art from the creators of children's books.

Wilsted said he expects that more people will attend this year's fair than last year's, noting that an ice storm affected last year's attendance. In previous years, more than 3,500 people have attended the fair and thousands of dollars have been raised for the collection.

Prior to the book fair, on November 13, the School of Education and the Dodd Center will sponsor a conference for elementary school teachers on the importance of student reading. Leonard Everett Fisher, Bernice Cullinan, a professor of early childhood and elementary education at New York University, Carol Otis Hurst, author of Once Upon a Time, and Jane Yolen, author of Owl Moon, are scheduled to speak at the conference.

Zubair Khan