ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Mayor Martin J. Chávez and the City of Albuquerque’s Cultural Services Department are proud to announce the launch of the Annual Children’s Book Fair to be held on Friday, April 20, 2007 at the Harry E. Kinney Civic Plaza to coincide with worldwide observances of the “Dia del Libro/Day of the Book” celebration.
To promote the importance of reading throughout life, particularly to children and young adults, this inaugural event will feature a number of exciting and entertaining literacy-related activities primarily aimed at the youth audience, but inclusive of all ages.
Hundreds of elementary and middle school students will be invited to the Plaza beginning at 10:00 a.m. for a learning experience aimed at promoting reading for the whole family. It is a well-established fact that good readers have a much greater chance of succeeding throughout life, and parents who both read to their children and foster a love of reading in them are helping to build a strong foundation for their future.
Planned displays and activities include: live entertainment and storytelling; a large display that follows a book from an initial idea to a bookstore shelf, then into a home where it brings magic into young lives; arts & craft booths; creating an ongoing story—with predictable hilarious result – from kids adding sequential sentences; an ancient printing press to intrigue young minds as they learn more about the history of printing; authors and illustrators who will share their “muse” with kids and talk about careers in writing and illustration; and the Albuquerque/Bernalillo Public Library System booth where kids can pick up library card applications, learn about the public libraries and get tips on how to use the comprehensive online resources at www.cabq.gov/library to access databases, homework assistance, and more!
Even though the day is focused on kids, adults will not be left out of the fun. An open-air market offering new and used books for sale will be a prominent part of the event, and exhibitors ranging from booksellers to learning centers will be encouraged to participate and offer opportunities to learn more about the many aspects of books and literacy.
A food court will be available throughout the event featuring kid-friendly fare as well as selections for more mature palates. Afternoon hours are extended to 5:30 p.m. to allow adults to attend.
As a run-up to the Book Fair, from April 14-19 special promotional activities will be featured at the City’s libraries, with a planned giveaway of prizes at each participating location the week following the event.
The goal is to have this new Children’s Book Fair grow in years to come into a large, two-day citywide event that attracts readers, school children at all levels, business sponsors, booksellers and authors, performing artists, storytellers and others who want to preserve and promote the art of the written word—and the imagination that reading fosters. The plan is to create a unique atmosphere where individuals and families can embark on a literary journey through the magic of books.
Sponsors are being sought to support the costs of bus transportation for kids, special exhibits, promotion and advertising, entertainers, authors and illustrators and a wide variety of activities. Those interested in learning more about sponsorships and donations can contact the Cultural Services Department Children’s Book Fair Coordinators Luella Martinez-Gonzales at 764-6259 or Mike Padilla at 768-3566.