Rare books are stars at Elizabeth York Children’s Literature Festival – The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON Ã¢Â€Â” Elizabeth York always studied everything about her rare books. SheÃ¢Â€Â™d learn about the authors, why the books were rare, why they were important and their reflection of the times they were printed.
The Anderson University alumna and longtime donor recognized the contribution childrenÃ¢Â€Â™s literature made on the world, and how her 10,000-book collection could be a resource for her alma mater.
Ã¢Â€ÂœThe real impetus of the festival is the collection itself that she gave to the university,Ã¢Â€Â said Janet Brewer, director of Robert A. Nicholson University Library.
The eighth Elizabeth York ChildrenÃ¢Â€Â™s Literature Festival will return to Anderson UniversityÃ¢Â€Â™s Nicholson Library on Sept. 23. The free event will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. A $10 lunch will be available to those who RSVP by Sept. 20.
Three authors and one author/illustrator will present at this yearÃ¢Â€Â™s festival: Louise Borden, author of various books including Ã¢Â€ÂœThe Journey that Saved Curious George,Ã¢Â€Â Ã¢Â€ÂœFly High! The Story of Bessie Cole,Ã¢Â€Â and Ã¢Â€ÂœGood Luck, Mrs. K!Ã¢Â€Â; Loren Long, author of the Ã¢Â€ÂœOtisÃ¢Â€Â series and illustrator of former President Barack ObamaÃ¢Â€Â™s childrenÃ¢Â€Â™s book Ã¢Â€ÂœOf Thee I Sing: A Letter to My DaughtersÃ¢Â€Â; John David Anderson, author of books such as Ã¢Â€ÂœMs. BixbyÃ¢Â€Â™s Last Day,Ã¢Â€Â Ã¢Â€ÂœInsert Coin to Continue,Ã¢Â€Â Ã¢Â€ÂœSide KickedÃ¢Â€Â and Ã¢Â€ÂœMinionÃ¢Â€Â; and Jeff Stone, author of Ã¢Â€ÂœThe Five AncestorsÃ¢Â€Â series.
Brewer said the festival is an opportunity for readers to connect with well-known authors, as well as explore deeper into childrenÃ¢Â€Â™s literature.
It may be easy for adults to overlook the power of childrenÃ¢Â€Â™s books, she said. But they show something deeper.
The collection donated by York includes many first editions and rare books by authors such as A.A. Milne, Beatrix Potter and Maurice Sendak. Even after their initial donation, Elizabeth and James York funded more rare book purchases and the renovations to store the collection.
Much of the collection consists of World War II era writings that some may dismiss as simple kids reading. In reality, stories give insight into sociological and psychological issues of the time.
Ã¢Â€ÂœChildrenÃ¢Â€Â™s literature actually fits over every discipline imaginable,Ã¢Â€Â Brewer said.
Graphic design, historical context, educational subjects, social issues and illustration, for example, can all be explored through childrenÃ¢Â€Â™s books.
The festival aims to look at the genre more broadly.
Although a college may seem like an odd place for such a vast collection of childrenÃ¢Â€Â™s books, Brewer said it fits because of the popularity of AUÃ¢Â€Â™s education major. It also breeds an environment of exploration.
Ã¢Â€ÂœI think what the university is for is to give folks opportunities to think and to engage and to apply a variety of thoughts about anything,Ã¢Â€Â Brewer said. Ã¢Â€ÂœThatÃ¢Â€Â™s what a liberal arts school is about.Ã¢Â€Â
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If you go
What: Elizabeth York ChildrenÃ¢Â€Â™s Literature Festival
When: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 23
Where: Anderson University’s Nicholson Library
Cost: Free. Those interested in purchasing a $10 lunch should register by Sept. 20; contact Lori Scott at email@example.com or 765-641-4279 for more information.
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