Infectious goings-on

This weekend provides the perfect opportunity for parents to infect their offspring with the reading bug at the Virginia Festival of the Book. Aside from the youth and family programs happening throughout the week at nearly every school in this county and the next, Saturday’s offerings at this uniquely Charlottesville event focus on bookish family fun with Storyfest, a program of the Motheread/Fatheread literacy project.
    At this fabulous free event, kids can meet and talk with local literary icons such as Peter Jones, host of WTJU’s “Tell Us a Tale.” Jones will kick off the day’s events with a special Tae Kwon Do demonstration in front of Central Library at 9:45am. Afterward, Jones and his storytelling friend Jen Hoffman will tell a tale or two.
The Festival also gives kids the thrilling opportunity to meet— in person— the people who write and illustrate the books they love. Among the many presenters who will read from and sign their books are Maryann K. Cusimano, author of You Are My I Love You, Angela Seward who wrote Goodnight, Daddy, and Noelle Hall author of Emily and the Captain. Colin Bootman, who illustrated The Music in Derrick’s Heart and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will also be on-hand.
The folks from, publisher of Charlottesville’s online source for all things family, will be hanging out in the children’s section of the library from 10am until noon. There kids can meet Mike L. Ford, author of the first in a series of whimsical stories about Bumble the Bee and friends featured in the latest edition of AK’s print magazine. Kids won’t want to miss this chance to get Mike’s signature on this brand new, hot-off-the-press issue, which features summer camp listings.
A special Festival edition of La Hora de los Cuentos en Espanol (storytime in Spanish) will be offered, along with a presentation by the Parent Center of Your Family vs. the Horrible Troll. Jim Weiss will be there with more storytelling fun. And hands-on activities let kids do their own printing and bookmaking with local authors and illustrators.
Ed White, author of Foxy’s Tale, a true story of his champion sled dog, will talk about and demonstrate the workings of his dogsled throughout the morning. Winners of the Book Festival Poster Contest and the PBS Reading Rainbow Contest will be honored. And rumor has it that the Cat in the Hat will be attending the festivities, too.

Most Storyfest activities take place at Central Library, 201 E. Market St., and McGuffey Art Center, 201 Second St. NW. Folks can follow the footsteps on the sidewalk to the various venues. A schedule of all events for the Virginia Festival of the Book is available free at libraries, bookstores, coffee shops, and other locations around town, or see the website at  HYPERLINK "" Motheread/Fatheread of the Virginia Foundation can be reached at 924-3296.