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DCCCD, DMA Celebrate BooksmART Festival

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For immediate release — June 1, 2012

(DALLAS) — Families and books should go hand-in-hand — and they do this June during the second annual BooksmART Festival in Dallas!

The free, one-day BooksmART Festival offer families and children of all ages a chance to celebrate literature and the arts on Saturday, June 9, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The day will feature authors, artists, illustrators, workshops, music, gallery tours, story time, games and other activities at the Dallas Museum of Art.

The Dallas County Community College District will serve as one of several co-sponsors for the event, which is presented by Chase.

Participants include Taye Diggs and Shane W. Evans, Jack Gantos, Chris Raschka, Eileen Christelow, Meg Wolitzer, Jennifer and Matthew Holm, Clete Barrett Smith, Rebecca Stead, Daniel Kirk, Raul Colon, Deborah Hopkinson, Bruce Foster, Beatrice Coron, Jonah Winter, Alejandrina Drew, Hugworks, the Dallas Theater Center and Essilor Vision Foundation.

American theater, film and television actor Taye Diggs and artist Shane Evans (plus illustrator and photographer) will talk about their collaborative effort, “Chocolate Me!,” a book based on the experiences of feeling different and trying to fit in as kids. Both presenters, who are fathers, see more than ever the need for a picture book like theirs which encourages all people — especially children — to love themselves.

Winner of the 2012 Newbery Medal and the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction for his book “Dead End in Norvelt,” author Jack Gantos will talk about his latest work, in which the main character is “grounded for life” by his parents. Chris Raschka is an American author, illustrator and violinist who wrote “Hello, Goodbye Window”; his book “A Ball for Daisy” won the 2012 Caldecott Medal. The award-winning book explores what happens when a little dog’s most prized possession is accidentally destroyed.

A former photographer who loves to write children’s picture books, author Eileen Christelow will discuss her popular series, “Five Little Monkeys,” and her books about Emma the dog. New York Times bestselling author Meg Wolitzer, who loves to play Scrabble, presents her first novel for young people titled “The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman” (with a Scrabble-based theme). She is the author of several adult novels and short fiction as well.

Brother-and-sister writing team Jennifer and Matthew Holm are the creators of the graphic novel series “Babymouse” and “Squish.” “Babymouse” is the first graphic novel series written specifically for children, which they will discuss during their presentation. Clete Barrett Smith is the author of the “Intergalactic Bed and Breakfast” series; he will discuss the second book, “Aliens on a Rampage,” which comes out June 5.

Rebecca Stead, who grew up in New York City, wrote “When You Reach Me,” a novel that was inspired by her favorite children’s book, “A Wrinkle in Time.” The mystery — which won the 2010 Newbery Award — focuses on a coming-of-age theme with glimpses of the future included. She also has written a new novel, “Liar and Spy,” which will be published this August.

Author Daniel Kirk has written the “Library Mouse” adventure series; he will discuss “Library Mouse: An Art Adventure,” an after-hours trip set in a local museum. Raul Colon, whose illustrations are featured regularly in the New York Times, recently provided the illustrations for Jill Biden’s book, “Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops.” In addition to that book, he also has illustrated books written by BooksmART authors Deborah Hopkinson and Jonah Winter.

Deborah Hopkinson always wondered why so few stories about women and African-Americans were included in her history textbooks. Her works have included stories about an astronomer, a baseball player, an explorer and a seamstress. She has written more than 40 books for young people, including “Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt,” and other award-winning works. Bruce Foster, described as a “paper engineer,” has designed almost 40 pop-up books during his career, and he also has done pop-ups for the Disney movie “Enchanted.” His credits also include “Harry Potter” and Sports Illustrated pop-up books.

French artist Beatrice Coron has lived around the world. She uses paper and scissors to tell stories; invents situations, cities and worlds to explore; and invites viewers to make their own stories. Picture-book biographer Jonah Winter, baseball card collector and trader, is a respected author. His book “Just Behave, Pablo Picasso” provides encouragement to young aspiring artists.