Savannah Children’s Book Festival Set for Nov. 19

Kadir Nelson
Kadir Nelson

The 2011 Savannah Children’s Book Festival is set for Saturday, Nov. 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Forsyth Park in Savannah. The festival is presented by Live Oak Public Libraries and the City of Savannah. The eighth annual festival celebrates the joy of reading, the power of the written word and the magic of storytelling with children’s book authors and illustrators from around the country.

Among the many talented guests in this year’s lineup will be and Kadir Nelson, author/illustrator of “Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African-Americans,” and artist of the album cover for “Michael” by the late pop icon Michael Jackson. He is an award-winning American artist whose works have been exhibited in major national and international publications, institutions, art galleries, and museums. Kadir earned a bachelor’s degree from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and has since created paintings for a host of distinguished clients including Sports Illustrated, the Coca- Cola Company, the U.S. Postal Service, Major League Baseball, and Dreamworks SKG where he worked as a visual development artist creating concept artwork for the feature films, “Amistad” and “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron”.

Many of Kadir’s paintings are in the collections of notable institutions and public collections, including the U.S. House of Representatives and the National Baseball Hall of Fame, as well as in the private collections of actors, professional athletes, and musicians. Nelson has also gained acclaim for the artwork he has contributed to several New York Times best-selling picture books including his authorial debut, “We are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball,” winner of the Coretta Scott King and Robert F. Sibert Awards.

The Savannah Children’s Book Festival will also feature Calvin Ramsey, author of “Ruth and the Green Book,” the story of a young African- American girl and her family using “The Green Book” to travel America’s roads in the 1950s. “The Green Book” was a travel guide published starting in 1936 that listed lodgings, tailors and other businesses that welcomed African- American customers during Jim Crow. Calvin is an Atlanta-based playwright, photographer, and folk art painter who grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, and Roxboro, North Carolina.

He is a former Advisory Board Member of the Robert Woodruff Library Special Collections at Emory University in Atlanta. He is also a recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Drum Major for Justice Award. His plays have been performed in New York City; Washington, D.C.; Atlanta; San Francisco; Valdez, Alaska; Omaha, Nebraska; Baltimore; and Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

The festival will also include more than 70 Coastal Authors, arts and crafts, an International Tent, a variety of food and entertainment, a Book Walk and graphic novel/comics area. Major sponsors are the Live Oak Public Libraries Foundation and Gulfstream Aerospace.

Rain location for the event is the Savannah Civic Center. For more information, call 912-652-3689.

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