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Author of Walter Anderson picture-book to visit Triangle


Jan Swoope



The Society of Children''s Book Writers and Illustrators'' Southern Breeze Region announces an Aug. 5 visit to the Golden Triangle by prize-winning author Hester Bass. Bass'' picture book, "The Secret World of Walter Anderson" (Candlewick Press), has won the 2010 Orbis Pictus Award for outstanding nonfiction for children from the National Council of Teachers of English, as well as the 2010 SIBA Book Award for best children''s book, chosen by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance..  


Bass will appear at Book Mart in Starkville, located at 120 E. Main St. A children''s event and signing will be held from 3:30-4:30 p.m., followed by an hour''s Shop Talk for Writers. Refreshments will be served. The event is open to the public. 


"Hester has brought the work and life of Mississippi artist Walter Anderson to a new generation of children, as well as to the attention of the larger world of children''s literature," said Southern Breeze liason Keri Collins. "Her book is a lovely example of the magic that happens when an author''s words and an illustrator''s images mesh seamlessly." The biographical picture book is illustrated by Caldecott Honor winner E.B. Lewis. 


The Southern Breeze chapter of the SCBWI is partnering with Carolyn Abadie of Book Mart to bring the prize-winning writer to the area.  


Bass, who lives near Huntsville, Ala., was born in Atlanta and grew up in rural Georgia, shaped by her mother''s love of language, her father''s love of family and her own love of books. After receiving her bachelor''s degree from Simmons College in Boston, Mass., she worked in radio and television advertising, sang in a rock band, delivered singing telegrams in Manhattan and even appeared on "The $50,000 Pyramid," with Dick Clark, and "Who Wants to be a Millionaire," with Meredith Vieira.  


While living in Ocean Springs, Bass'' interest in Gulf Coast artist Anderson was piqued. Her subsequent book has garnered widespread praise and multiple awards. The author visits classrooms and libraries to inspire children to make their own dreams come true, encouraging, as one librarian said, "the most reluctant reader to read and the hesitant student to write." 


"I''ve heard Hester speak," said Collins, "and she is warm, gracious, humble and funny -- a perfect combination for connecting with both kids and adults." 


The SCBWI is the only professional organization specifically for individuals working in the fields of children''s literature, magazines, film, television and multimedia. 


For more information about the Aug. 5 event, contact The Book Mart and Cafe at 662-323-2844.


Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.


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