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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Children’s books aren’t just for kids

    Steve Nguyen
    Steve Nguyen/ The Daily Wildcat Kathy Short, one of the co-chairs of the children’s section of the upcoming Festival of Books, sits and reads a popular children’s book at the new World of Words library on the fourth floor of the Education building.

    R.L. Stine likes to scare little kids. People who grew up in the 1990s probably remember the terror that came from staying up late reading “Goosebumps” books.

    Akram Kateregga does. He’s now a journalism senior, but he remembers being in the fifth grade and reading books by Stine, the author of the “Goosebumps” series, who will be at the Tucson Festival of Books this weekend.

    “At the time, they actually used to scare me,” Kateregga said. “If it was on the weekend, I would stay up long hours until I finished reading the book. I couldn’t put it down. A lot of them had good scary endings that would actually keep me up, give me some nightmares, but not enough to put them down.”

    Several prominent children’s writers, including Stine, will discuss their work at the festival this weekend on the UA Mall.
    Kathy Short, professor and co-chair of the children and teens authors committee, said there will be plenty of activities for university students this weekend.

    “We have 65 children and teen authors who are coming to the festival,” Short said. “They are top people in the field. This is an extremely rare opportunity to see the many authors and illustrators of that stature, and they’re doing a range of sessions.”

    Alongside writer workshops, there will be artists teaching about illustrations and animations that are crucial in children’s literature.

    “I have illustrators that are doing sessions that are studio lessons where they’re demonstrating a watercolor technique or they’re demonstrating an animation technique, so students here would be interested in those sessions whether or not they’re interested in children’s books,” Short said. “It may not be that they’re interested in reading that person’s books, but if they’re interested in being a writer or being an illustrator, then those sessions can be ways for them to get real insights into the process that people are engaged in.”

    Visiting authors and illustrators all have books that came out within the last year, Short said. Among those are Lois Lowry, who wrote “The Giver.” Last year she published “Son,” which finishes the Giver Quartet. Robert Sabuda, who is a pop-up book writer, designer and a paper engineer, will also be at the festival. Both, according to Short, are masters in their fields and will be giving presentations, including a paper engineering workshop by Sabuda.

    “Robert Sabuda is considered the chief paper engineer,” Short said. “He is the most well-known and the most highly-respected paper engineer that’s currently functioning in the field. He publishes several books a year. His books are very complex in terms of the engineering that’s required for the paper.”

    To check the list of speakers and workshops, visit the Tucson Festival of Books website,

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