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Children’s Book Festival to run with Oxford Conference for the Book

Now in its 24th year, the Oxford Conference for the Book primarily deals with literature for adults, but there’s also fun for little ones with the Children’s Book Festival which will run concurrently with the main event.

This year, thanks to the Lafayette County Literary Council, every first grader in Lafayette County will get a copy of the book “If I Built A Car,” by Chris Van Dusen. The children will interact with the book through activities such as parades, skits, readings at their schools and hearing the author speak at the Ford Center on March 31.

Nancy Opalko, the Chair of the Children’s Book Festival, says that the Literary Council “works very hard to connect books with children.”

“The Children’s Book Festival is one of the best ways in which we accomplish that goal,” she said. “By giving every first grader their very own copy of a book by an author they then get to listen to and meet, we hope to instill in each child a love of literacy and books.”

Van Dusen, 57, is a Maine-based children’s book author. His first book, “Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee,” was published in 2000; he has written a total of 16 books.