Prestigious speaker line-up to focus on illustration at USF Sarasota-Manatee’s 5th Annual Children’s Literature Symposium

The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee’s 5th Annual Children’s Literature Symposium will be held on Saturday, February 5, 2011 in the Selby Auditorium at USF Sarasota-Manatee, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota from 8:30am – 5:30pm.  This year’s Children’s Literature Symposium conference includes presentations that address innovations and developments in images and illustrations in children’s and young adult literature.   The conference is open to the public and registration information can be found online at

The speaker and presenter line-up for this year includes several award winning and highly successful professionals involved in all aspects of children’s and young adult literature.  They are:

  • Mary GrandPré, best known for her illustrations and cover designs for the Harry Potter series.
  • Kenneth B. Kidd, Associate Professor of English at the University of Florida, where he also serves as Associate Director of The Center for Children’s Literature and Culture.
  • Poonam Arya, associate professor of Reading, Language, and Literature at Wayne State University where she teaches courses in literacy theory and research, reading assessment, and critical pedagogy.
  • Marianne Berkes, former teacher, children’s theater director, and children’s librarian, is the author of nine (and counting) award-winning children’s books inspired by her love of nature.
  • Thomas Crisp, co-chair for the symposium and Associate Professor of Reading at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee.
  • Brittany Hiller, fourth grade teacher at Out of Door Academy and alum of USF Sarasota-Manatee with a Master’s in Reading
  • Janeen Mason, award winning writer and illustrator of children’s books
  • Debbie Reese, leading researcher and educator in the field of American Indian representation in literature.
  • Frank Remkiewicz, author and illustrator who has illustrated books by many authors, including Alma Flor Ada and Betsy Byers. He is perhaps best known for his illustrations in the Horrible Harry and Froggy series.
  • Breakout presenters will be: Poushali Bhadury, Patrick Cox, Tammy L. Mielke, Weimin Mo, Theresa Murzyn, Sarah Park, Stella Reinhard, Bridgid Shannon, Gwen Athene Tarbox, and Jocelyn Van Tuyl.

“The Children’s Literature Symposium highlights one of the most effective ways to positively impact a child’s educational future:  reading,” said Dr. Terry Osborn, Dean of the College of Education at USF Sarasota-Manatee.  “The College of Education is pleased to sponsor the symposium offering critical insights to teachers both current and future, and bringing internationally-known expertise to Sarasota and Bradenton as only a hometown research university can do.”

Through this symposium, participants and presenters will seek to enrich understandings of the history and contemporary trends impacting the role of image and illustration in children’s texts. Speakers include nationally recognized scholars, critics, as well as children’s book authors and illustrators.  A book-signing by authors and illustrators will be held at the end of the day.  News and information will also be updated via Facebook by following “Children’s Literature Symposium.” Early-registration fees are as follows: General Public $75; alumni/USF-system faculty/staff: $50; students of USFSM, SCF, New College $30 (add $15 for lunch/snacks).  Registration includes coffee/bagels, snacks, and lunch.  Accommodation information, maps, speaker information and more can be found online at If you have questions or would like to request further information about the Children’s Literature Symposium at USF Sarasota-Manatee, please contact Diane Lewis at or 941-359-4217.

Children’s Literature Symposium conferences center on issues related to the study of children’s and young adult literature. The overarching goal of these symposia is to critically explore genres of children’s and young adult literature through scholarship, research, and criticism. By bringing together scholars, critics, and researchers in the fields of literary analysis, education, and library information sciences, the Children’s Literature Symposium seeks to engage participants in critical discussions about children’s and young adult literature.