Turning the pages

Last Saturday, children’s and teen’s authors, illustrators and poets from across Canada came together at the Waterloo Regional Children’s Museum to explore new worlds, tell their stories and expand their imagination in hopes of sharing their love of books and literacy with the youth of Kitchener-Waterloo.

The festival, organized by Words Worth Books, offered children the chance to meet and interact with the authors.

“It makes the books come alive to the kids,” said Bronwyn Addico, the events and marketing co-ordinator of Wordsworth Books.

“When kids have so much constant media pumped into them all the time, events like this show them that although books might not be flashy and in your face, they are really cool and really good for you,” she added.

Aside from the authors’ readings and presentations, which were all uniquely creative, the kids also had the opportunity to make their own books, buttons and other crafts.

Laura Reed, the co-ordinator of children and teen services at the Kitchener public library, was also in attendance at the festival.

She manned the Kitchener public library booth where her and her colleague engaged children in different reading-related activities, including making bookmarks.

“We’re here to give the kids information about our summer programs,” said Reed about the library’s participation in the event.

“This year our summer reading club’s theme is ‘destination jungle.’ We’re going on a safari and we’re going to be dodging snakes and critters, having drum circles and getting kids excited about reading.”

Both Addico and Reed emphasized the importance of imagination, and the influence that reading has in that regard.

The variety of activities and presentations also promotes such creativity.

“Reading helps kids with crafts, it helps them in school, and it will really help them in the future,” said Addico enthusiastically.

“It’s the building block of engineering, computers and for a lot of different things in our modern lives.”

“It also improves your attention span,” she explained.

Addico hopes to make this festival an annual event and to continue to promote a love of literacy and reading in Canadian youth.

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