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The Kennedy Center's Fifteenth Annual Multicultural Children's Book Festival, Saturday, September 11, from 12 p.m. - 6 p.m. on Roof Level of the Kennedy Center

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Authors & Illustrators

  • Alma Flor Ada

    Alma Flor Ada

    Alma Flor Ada, Professor Emerita at the University of San Francisco, has devoted her life to advocacy for peace by promoting a pedagogy oriented to personal realization and social justice. A former Radcliffe Scholar at Harvard University and Fulbright Research Scholar she is an internationally re-known speaker and the author of numerous children's books of poetry, narrative, folklore and nonfiction. Her books have received prestigious awards; among many: Christopher Medal (The Gold Coin), Pura Belpré Medal (Under the Royal Palms), Once Upon a World (Gathering the Sun), Parents' Choice Honor (Dear Peter Rabbit), NCSS and CBC Notable Book (My Name is María Isabel). She is also the author of a book of memoirs, Vivir en dos idiomas, two novels for adults, En clave de sol and A pesar del amor, and several professional books for educators, including A Magical Encounter: Latino Children's Literature in the Classroom, as well as a wealth of educational materials. Her work, in collaboration with F. Isabel Campoy in promoting authorship in students, teachers, and parents is the content of their book Authors in the Classroom: A Transformative Education Process. Alma Flor Ada has been awarded the American Education Research Association [AERA] Hispanic Research Issues SIG Research in Elementary, Secondary or Postsecondary Education Award and the California Association for Bilingual Education [CABE] Lifetime Achievement Award.

  • Joseph Bruchac

    AJoseph Bruchac

    Joseph Bruchac: Much of his writing draws on the Adirondack mountain foothills and his Abenaki ancestry. He continues to work extensively in projects involving the preservation of Abenaki culture, language and traditional Native skills, including performing traditional and contemporary Abenaki music with the Dawnland Singers. He holds a B.A. from Cornell University, an M.A. in Literature and Creative Writing from Syracuse and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the Union Institute of Ohio. His work as an educator includes eight years of directing a college program for Skidmore College inside a maximum security prison. With his wife, Carol, he is the founder and Co-Director of the Greenfield Review Literary Center and The Greenfield Review Press. He has edited a number of highly praised anthologies of contemporary poetry and fiction, including Songs from this Earth on Turtle's Back, Breaking Silence (winner of an American Book Award) and Returning the Gift. His poems, articles and stories have appeared in over 500 publications, from American Poetry Review, Cricket and Aboriginal Voices to National Geographic, Parabola and Smithsonian Magazine. He has authored more than 70 books for adults and children, including The First Strawberries, Keepers of the Earth (co-authored with Michael Caduto), Tell Me a Tale, When the Chenoo Howls (co-authored with his son, James), his autobiography Bowman's Store and such novels as Dawn Land, The Waters Between, Arrow Over the Door and The Heart of a Chief. Forthcoming titles include Squanto's Journey (Harcourt), a picture book, Sacajawea (Harcourt), a historical novel, Crazy Horse's Vision (Lee & Low), a picture book, and Pushing Up The Sky (Dial), a collection of plays for children. His honors include a Rockefeller Humanities fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Writing Fellowship for Poetry, the Cherokee Nation Prose Award, the Knickerbocker Award, the Hope S. Dean Award for Notable Achievement in Children's Literature and both the 1998 Writer of the Year Award and the 1998 Storyteller of the Year Award from the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers. In 1999, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas. As a professional teller of the traditional tales of the Adirondacks and the Native peoples of the Northeastern Woodlands, Bruchac has performed widely in Europe and throughout the United States and has been featured at festivals around the world. He has been a storyteller-in-residence for Native American organizations and schools throughout the continent. He discusses Native culture and his books and does storytelling programs at dozens of elementary and secondary schools each year as a visiting author.

  • R. Gregory Christie

    Alma Flor  Ada

    R. Gregory Christie received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in media arts from New York City's School of Visual Arts. His work has graced the covers of numerous jazz labels from all over the world, including Joe Sample's Old Places Old Faces (Warner Brothers, 1996);George Benson's A Song for my Brother (Giant Step records, 1997); Coltrane: The Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Recordings (GRP Impulse, 1997)as well as images for Stockholm, Sweden's Independent jazz label, Moserobie, 2005. Following his album covers, Christie's' illustrations began appearing in numerous publications in Europe, Asia, and America. In 1996, his work caught the eye of editors from Lee and Low publishing, who gave him the opportunity to paint for The Palm of My Heart: Poetry by African American Children, 1996. The book won a Coretta Scott King Award honor from the American Library Association, also receiving a reading magic award from Parenting magazine, truly significant achievements for a first time book illustrator. The artist has illustrated the biographies of many significant historical and cultural figures, including Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, and Sojourner Truth. He is the 2008 winner Theodore Geisel Award Honor recipient for his book with author Lisa Wheeler named Jazz Baby. A Schneider Family Award winner for his book with Folk music legend Pete Seeger "The Deaf Musicians". Christie is also a three time recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award honor, 2006 for Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost boys of Sudan, and a second time for illustrating Only Passing Through: The Story of Sojourner Truth. Additionally, the artist received a Certificate of Excellence from the New York Times, deeming his work for Only Passing Through, "One of the Year's Best Illustrated Children's Books." Christie received the Certificate of Excellence from the New York Times a second time in 2002, for his illustrations for Stars in The Darkness, a children's book promoting gang prevention. Christie's book, Yesterday I Had the Blues ,with author Jeron Ashford Frame has been showcased internationally on PBS' television show "Between the Lions" and his artwork for Garrett's Gift features the writing of actress Karyn Parsons and the narration of entertainer Queen Latifah has also been televised on HBO's Kids network. Currently, Mr. Christie is creating art and giving school visit lectures.

  • Shane Evans

    Shane Evans

    Shane Evans: A one-man creative force, Shane Evans comfortably wears titles that include artist, author, illustrator, musician, songwriter, and founder of Dream Studio, a community art space in Kansas City, Missouri, where he resides. He has more than 30 books to his credit as an illustrator, including Olu's Dream, which he also authored. Many of the books have been featured in the media such as The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, Reading Rainbow, and Late Night with David Letterman. Five of his books are scheduled for publication in 2010 including Chocolate Me with actor Taye Diggs, My Brother Charlie with actor Holly Robinson Peete, and Black Jack, with Coretta Scott King Award winning author Charles Smith. His portfolio includes the "Shanna Show" (now a Disney animated short along with the spinoff "Shane's Kindergarten Countdown"). In addition, he has exhibited, lectured, and developed art programs for youth in Burkina Faso, Botswana, Brazil, China, France, Japan, Lesotho, and across the United States.

  • Jacqueline Woodson

    Jacqueline Woodson

    Jacqueline Woodson was born in Columbus, Ohio and raised in Greenville, South Carolina, and Brooklyn, New York. She is the author of many award-winning books for children and young adults including The Other Side, Miracle's Boys, If You Come Softly, Maizon at Blue Hill, Show Way, and the novel, Locomotion, which among its many honors was both a National Book Award Finalist and a Coretta Scott King Book Award. Ms. Woodson has received three Newbery Honors, a Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults, an LA Times Book Prize, and many additional accolades. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.

  • Laurence Yep

    Laurence Yep

    Laurence Yep was born in 1948 in San Francisco where he lived in an African-American neighborhood but went to school in Chinatown. He sold his first story when he was eighteen and since then has published almost sixty books for children and adults, garnering numerous awards, most notably two Newbery Honors for Dragonwings and Dragon's Gate respectively, the American Book Award and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal from the ALA for his "substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children." He was also awarded an NEA fellowship for his fiction. His nine-book series, the "Golden Mountain Chronicles", has followed the impact that America has had upon one Chinese family and their friends over 170 years. In his fantasy, he has explored Chinese American myths as well as history. The Berkeley Repertory Theater commissioned him to adapt his novel, Dragonwings, for the stage, and it was later performed at the Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center. He has a Ph.D. from the SUNY at Buffalo and has taught at UC, Berkeley as well as UC, Santa Barbara. He also served as an Artist-in-Residence at the Kennedy Center. He lives in Pacific Grove with his wife, Joanne Ryder, two blocks from the ocean and four blocks from the trees where the monarch butterflies winter. He often goes for walks by the sea to clear out the cobwebs and likes to watch anime and read historical fiction.