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Eight award-winning authors and illustrators of children’s and young adult books will share their stories at the 22nd annual Minnesota Children’s Book Festival on Sept.18 at the Anderson Center. 

During the book fair, which runs from noon to 5 p.m., all of the authors and illustrators will present their work. They will read from their new books and spend time in a meet & green book-signing booth. Activities will be outdoors on the grounds of Tower View. 

This year’s featured books “present narratives around the natural world, skill building and diverse perspectives that help kids, as well as adults, understand each other and the world around them,” officials said. 

Participants and their new works are:  

  • Molly Beth Griffin, “Ten Beautiful Things,” ages 5-8; a girl and her grandmother search for 10 beautiful things while riding to her new home. 

  • Denise Lajimodiere, “Josie Dances,” ages 3-7; an Ojibwe girl prepares for her first powwow with help from her family.  

  • David LaRochelle, “How to Apologize,” illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka, ages 4-8; useful lessons for kids who want to make things right when things go wrong. 

  • Melina Mangal, “Jayden’s Impossible Garden,” ages 4-9; intergenerational relationships and the power of imagination are keys to a community garden.  

  • Magdalena Mora, illustrator for “I Wish You Knew,” ages 4-7; a young girl deals with challenges when separated from her father. 

  • Jacqueline West of Red Wing, “Long Lost”, ages 8-12; a suspenseful mystery involving two sisters who live nearly a century apart.  

  • Kao Kalia Yang, “The Most Beautiful Thing,” ages 5-9; childhood experiences of a Hmong refugee tell the story of a family with a great deal of love and little money. 

The books can be purchased online through the Anderson Center page on Bookshop, which supports the organization and independent bookstores: bookshop.org/lists/2021-mn-childrens-book-festival. A link is provided on the Anderson Center Website. 

Other activities also are planned for children as part of the center’s emphasis on the joy of learning through reading and the arts. The festival is widely acclaimed for its efforts to promote literacy among young people. 

Activities will include: Henna by Kayley, stilt-walking by Barebones, artmaking, bookmaking with ArtReach, Dr. Bob’s puppet theater, and balloon animals by David Olson. Visitors also can check out the top of the center’s landmark water tower. 

Food will be available from Warm Toasties food truck and The Granary of Stockholm, Wis.

Ruth Nerhaugen is a retired Republican Eagle reporter who occasionally writes stories. People may reach her through the newsroom at rtnews@orourkemediagroup.

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