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The joy of children’s literature: A conversation without a net

The joy of children’s literature: A conversation without a net

The joy of children’s literature: A conversation without a net

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The Joy of Children’s Literature: A Conversation Without a Net

Friends Appreciation Event | Sunday, April 14, 2024 | A Friends Forum Event | In Person Event
Doors open at 2 p.m. | Program begins at 2:30 p.m. with a reception to follow

Expect the unexpected as we feature a free-wheeling conversation about children’s books and their creators with award-winning author Andrea Davis Pinkney and Kerlan Curator Lisa Von Drasek. The annual Friends Appreciation event is our opportunity to thank you for your support! Please join us for an engaging program and reception.

The event also will feature a sneak preview of the upcoming fall Kerlan Collection exhibit that celebrates the work of Ezra Jack Keats, contemporary picture-book creators, and explores the history of representation in English-language children’s books.

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Red Balloon Bookshop will have books available for purchase at this event.

This event will be recorded and added to our the University of Minnesota Libraries’ YouTube channel. If you’d like us to send you a link to the recording when it’s live, please send an email to and let us know. Thanks.

About the presenters

Andrea Davis Pinkney

Andrea Davis Pinkney

Andrea Davis Pinkney is an award-winning author of more than 50 books for children and young adults. Her work has garnered multiple Coretta Scott King Book Awards, the Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor, and the Parenting Publications gold medal, among other citations. She is a four-time NAACP Image Award nominee, recipient of the Regina Medal and the Arbuthnot Honor Award. In addition, Pinkney has been inducted into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame. She and her work are the subject of the Emmy-nominated short film, “Andrea Davis Pinkney: National Author Engagement.”

Pinkney also is the librettist for the Houston Grand Opera’s “The Snowy Day Opera,” based on the beloved bestselling children’s picture book classic “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats. She has served on the creative teams for several theatrical and audio productions based on works for young people, including those drawn from among her acclaimed books, “Martin Rising: Requiem for a King,” “The Red Pencil,” and “Rhythm Ride: A Trip through the Motown Sound.”

Lisa Von Drasek

Lisa Von Drasek

Lisa Von Drasek is the Curator of the Kerlan Collection of Children’s Literature — an internationally recognized resource in the field of children’s literature. Formerly the Children’s Librarian of the Bank Street College of Education, Lisa was the teacher/librarian for pre-k through 8th grade as well as a teacher of Children’s Literature, Storytelling, and Children’s Book Publishing 101 to students in the graduate school of education. While serving as director of Bank Street’s Center for Children’s Literature, Lisa founded the Cook Prize, given to a STEM book chosen by children grades 3-4.  She was also a frequent guest lecturer at the Pratt Institute School of Information and Library Science in Storytelling and Folklore, Collection Development, and Services to Children. Lisa has reviewed children’s books for The New York Times,, and Shelf Awareness, among others.

She has served as a juror on the Caldecott Committee, The New York Times Best Illustrated, the Newbery Committee, The Ezra Jack Keats Award, Trudi Birger Prize (Jerusalem Book Fair) National Book Awards for Young People’s Literature, and American Library Association’s Notable Children’s Books. Lisa has lectured on the topics of Writing Boxes: The Reading/Writing Connection in Libraries, Emergent Literacy, Diversity in Children’s Literature, Comics and Literacy, the New Adult,  What Makes an Award Winning Book, and Children’s Choice Awards.

About the Friends Forum

Friends Forum: A Series for Curious Minds is a speaker series for the Friends of the University of Minnesota Libraries. Each year, Friends Forum presents five to six events featuring fascinating topics that reflect contemporary issues in cultural affairs, literary arts, public affairs, and more  — programming you will not find elsewhere.

Event details

What: The Friends Forum: A Series for Curious Minds | The joy of children’s literature: A conversation without a net
When: Sunday, April 14, 2024 | Doors open at 2 p.m. | Program begins at 2:30 p.m. with a reception to follow
Where: Elmer L. Andersen Library, room 120 | Parking & directions

Event registration closed.

Date And Time

2024-04-14 @ 02:00 PM to
2024-04-14 @ 04:00 PM

Registration End Date




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