Barbara Reid works in her studio on a plasticine illustration she creates for her children’s books. She is one of nine author presenters at this year’s Bookfest.

Barbara Reid works in her studio on a plasticine illustration she creates for her children’s books. She is one of nine author presenters at this year’s Bookfest.

Bookfest connects with children

NANAIMO - Bookfest is Saturday (May 4) 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Stories can speak to the hearts of both children and adults and are avenues to share history, emotions or life lessons.

“Through stories we make sure bits of our world are saved and passed on to our children,” said children’s author Barbara Reid, in an e-mail. “To me a story is like an ark. The story holds what is important to the teller, whether it is a history, an expression of emotions, the dreaded moral or just something funny.”

For author Tololwa Mollel telling stories was a way to connect to his kids and also his own childhood. Mollel is the author of sixteen children’s books and has written several plays.

He was born in Tanzania and now lives in Edmonton working as a theatre instructor and actor. He started telling children’s stories when his kids were younger.

“It kind of brought echoes to me of the stories I enjoyed as a kid,” said Mollel.

He loves creating children’s tales.

“You are going to shape their mind in that way, not in a manipulative way, just the way stories shape everyone’s mind,” he said.

Sometimes you can yell and lecture children but they won’t always listen, but stories hold their attention and allows children to learn life lessons along the way, said Mollel.

“With a story you lure them in and they don’t know they are learning lessons,” he said. “You can use ideas that intrigue you as an adult but also connect you with kids.”

Both authors are attending Vancouver Island Children’s Book Festival Saturday (May 4).

Mollel said he enjoys attending these events because it allows him to interact with readers.

“It comes alive in a double way if the book is shared by the author himself,” said Mollel.

Mollel’s presentations will include his books The Orphan Boy, Subira Subira, Kitoto the Mighty, My Rows and Piles of Coins.

Reid’s presentations will focus on her book Picture of a Tree, but she will also talk about The Subway Mouse, Perfect Snow, Fox Walked Alone and her newest book Welcome Baby.

Bookfest is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Author sessions and activities are at Diana Krall Plaza, Om Town Yoga, Nanaimo Art Gallery, the Harbourfront library, Nanaimo Museum, Vancouver Island Conference Centre and Port Theatre.

For more information please go to www.bookfest.ca.

arts@nanaimobulletin.com