31st Annual Mary Calletto Rife Children’s Literature Seminar

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Date, Location

Secure Online Registration 

  • $35, includes lunch
  • students (with ID) $5 without lunch
  • students (with ID) $15 with lunch

The Mary Calletto Rife Children’s Literature Seminar

The Mary Calletto Rife Children’s Literature Seminar grew out of a yearly observance of Children’s Book Week at the Kalamazoo Public Library. Each year beginning in 1919, the third week in November was designated as the time to celebrate good books for children. While the Children’s Book Council, the national sponsor of Children’s Book Week, moved their observance to the first two weeks of May in 2008, KPL continues to celebrate children’s literature in November. KPL has hosted such children’s literature luminaries as Tasha Tudor, Steven Kellogg, Jerry, Gloria Jean and Brian Pinkney, David Small and Sarah Stewart, Christopher Paul Curtis, and Kate DiCamillo at previous seminars.

Picture Books for the Ages

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Illustrating Essential Human Truths featuring Kadir Nelson

As he developed as an artist, Kadir Nelson learned to use his talent to share African American history and transcend gaps in the written record by painting human emotion revealing essential human truths, a process he describes as didactic artistic development. With picture books about Harriet Tubman, W.E.B. DuBois, Duke Ellington, Michael Jordan, and Henry Brown, the slave who literally mailed himself to freedom, Nelson brings history to life for readers of all ages. A review of recent illustrated books for older readers will augment Nelson’s presentations.