Diversity is the theme at the children’s book festival in the Metairie library | entertainment/life

“Writing Louisiana for Everyone” is the theme of the 2022 Holiday Children’s Book Festival taking place on Wednesday, December 7 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie, takes place.

The theme reflects the growing diversification of characters and plots in children’s literature by New Orleans authors and why it is important for children to experience characters, plots and dialogue that differ from what they are already familiar with.

Susan Larson will moderate a panel featuring three local children’s authors: Chris Clarkson, Marti Dumas and Johnette Downing.



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Susan Larson, Host of WWNO’s The Reading Life




Larson is the host of WWNO-FM radio show The Reading Life and the author of The Booklover’s Guide to New Orleans. From 1988 to 2009 she was book editor for The New Orleans Times-Picayune.

In 2007 she received the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the literary community.



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Children’s author Marti Dumas in New Orleans on Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (Photo by Chris Granger | The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate)




Dumas is a mother, teacher, writer, and creative entrepreneur from New Orleans. As an expert in childhood literacy, Dumas has worked with children and teachers across the country for the past 15 years to encourage an early love of reading. Her best-selling series, Jaden Toussaint, the Greatest, combines literacy with STEM skills and humor.



Chris Clarkson

Chris Clarkson




Clarkson, whose debut novel is That Night on Frenchmen Street, received a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of Maryland. He works as an outreach coordinator, where he regularly helps implement diversity initiatives.

A native of New Orleans, Downing is an award-winning singer, musician, composer, author and poet who presents Louisiana Roots concerts and author visits for children, as well as keynote addresses and workshops for educators worldwide.

Her presentations speak to a child’s interests in an engaging, interactive, educational, fun, and culturally respectful manner, and have earned her the reputation of “Children’s Musical Ambassador” and “Pied Piper of Louisiana’s Musical Traditions.”

Many other children’s book authors will be present to talk about and sell books. These include: Karen Konnerth, Denise Walter-McConduit, Shannon Kelley Atwater, Laura Roach Dragon, Gary Alipio, MH Herlong, Leah Eskine, Laura Michaud, Michelle D. Jackson, Gideon Hodge, Anthony Figaro, Louie Duet and others.

WWII DISCUSSION GROUP: Submarine expert Pat Doyle will discuss the development of US submarines during WWII, life aboard the boats and their impact on the war. He will pay special attention to the loss of life by all participants in the Pacific.

It will take place on Thursday, December 1 at 7 p.m. at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie.

SENIOR HEALTH FAIR: The Jefferson Parish Library is hosting a Senior Health Fair and Birthday Celebration to celebrate those who have turned 100 on Saturday, December 3 at 1:00 p.m. at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie .

Any patron with a relative, friend or colleague who has reached centenarian status is encouraged to attend.

The featured presentation is a session on Laughter Yoga by Judy Newman, a retired speech-language pathologist.

There will also be a giant birthday cake and numerous vendors with products or services that appeal to older customers: eye care and hearing care professionals, Medicare/Medicaid fraud, legal and pensions, and others.

BIG BAND: The Jerusalem Shrine Big Band performs Tuesday, December 6 at 7 p.m. at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie.

BEATLES TALK: Bruce Spizer will speak about his latest installment in his Beatles album series, The Beatles, Rubber Soul to Revolver, on Monday, December 5 at 7:00 p.m. at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie . The book includes two albums, Rubber Soul and Revolver, as well as Capitol’s Yesterday and Today LP and the singles associated with those albums. “Rubber Soul” and “Revolver” set new standards for pop and rock records, presenting the world with a maturing and evolving Beatles.

Spizer says the 16 tracks recorded during the “Rubber Soul” sessions are among the group’s best.

With “Revolver,” he said, the Beatles looked for more color in their recordings, trying out new instruments and techniques. But they didn’t use studio magic to cover up weaknesses; They were looking for new sounds to enhance their already brilliant songs.

CITIZEN CLASSES: Free courses to prepare visitors who wish to become United States citizens are held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the North Kenner Library, 630 Esplanade, Kenner. Educator Cesar Munoz conducts citizenship classes in both English and Spanish.

Chris Smith is the Adult Program Manager at the Jefferson Parish Public Library.

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