WALLA WALLA -- The Walla Walla Kids Read 2012 event will feature noted children's books authors Andrea Davis Pinkney and Tony DiTerlizzi.
In its fifth year, the 2012 Kids Read event will be held April 16-17 at Cordiner Hall on the Whitman College campus. Over two days, more than 5,000 of the Valley's elementary school students will get to hear the authors speak. A community event with the authors will also be held the evening of the 17th.
Tony DiTerlizzi, a New York Times bestselling author and illustrator, is the co-creator with Holly Black of "The Spiderwick Chronicles," a popular series geared for middle-schoolers. DiTerlizzi also wrote the Caldecott Honor picture book, "The Spider & the Fly."
DiTerlizzi will speak to the Valley's third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students during the two-day Kids Read event in April.
Author Andrea Davis Pinkney's award-winning historical children's picture books include "Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down," "Soujourner Truth's Step-Stomp Stride," and "Duke Ellington," which earned the Caldecott Honor. Other awards for her books include the Carter G. Woodson Award for historical works for young people, the Jane Addams Book Award, and the Parenting Publication Gold Medal award.
Coordinated by local author Patrick Carman, the Walla Walla Kids Read event is a collaboration with the City of Walla Walla Public Library and Walla Walla Public Schools. Every year, nationally recognized children's book authors arrive in Walla Walla to speak to local students. The events are free to local youths. The cost of authors' visits, transportation of students, facility use and resources for schools are covered by Walla Walla Kids Read.
"I'm so excited to host Andrea Davis Pinkney and Tony DiTerlizzi," Carman said in a statement. "They know how to get kids excited about books! The 2012 events will continue to build on Walla Walla's national reputation as a model for community literacy."
Past authors have included Jon Scieszka, creator of "The True Story of the Three Little Pigs!," and "The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Fairy Tales;" David Shannon, author and illustrator of the "No, David!" series of books; and Walter Wick, author and photographer of the "Can You See What I See?" and "I Spy" picture-riddle books.
Carman established the Walla Walla Kids Read event in 2007 as a way to expose area children to established authors, while also fostering a love and appreciation for reading, writing and art.
A Walla Walla resident, Carman is the best-selling author of the "Land of Elyon" series of books, as well as the "Skeleton Creek" and "Trackers" interactive texts. Earlier this year, film rights for his young adult novel "Thirteen Days to Midnight," and "Skeleton Creek" were purchased by Intrepid Pictures.
The 2012 Kids Read event will be broadcast online to about 400 schools around the country, with a goal of reaching 25,000 additional young readers.
On the net
More information, including scheduling and classroom activities, will be available starting Jan. 1 at www.wallawallakidsread.com. Check out the website now for information on past events.