Library brings authors into town with book festival

By April C. Honaker

Lincoln Parish Library’s Fall into a Book Festival is a plan for family fun this Saturday, Oct. 15, from 2-4 p.m. at the Library Events Center. The theme is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and children will receive golden tickets and a trick-or-treat bag when they arrive. 

The “factory” will be filled with stations allowing the children to play games, meet regional authors and have their ticket stamped along the way. When they’ve had their fill of fun, children can stop at the sweet shoppe for prize selection and to have their names entered in a grand prize drawing.

Children’s book authors on site for the event will include Cleve Stevens and M.L. Tarpley. Both authors have wanted to be authors since they were children and will be offering books for sale, answering questions and signing books. 

Stevens is the author of a book series called “The Kids in Ms. Coat’s Class,” which is best suited for children in Grades 3 and below. Stevens’ first two books “Ida Spider Billy Goat Rider” and “Levi Doesn’t Laugh” will be available. Each book in the series is an underdog story.

“I’ve always enjoyed underdog stories,” Stevens said. “I like to see a happy ending for them.” 

Each of Stevens’ stories also tells a cautionary tale with a lesson to be learned. At the end of each book, Stevens has included questions to facilitate the lesson, which he said will be helpful to teachers or anyone reading along with a child. 

Stevens said “Ida Spider Billy Goat Rider” is based on a story from his father’s childhood, and “Levi Doesn’t Laugh” was inspired by his son who is now 17 and has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Stevens said he’s written stories everyone can relate to and he hopes children can learn from.

Tarpley is also the author of a book series. Hers is called “Tales of a Travel Girl” and was written with children in the lower middle grades in mind. Tarpley’s series follows 10-year-old Maylie across Europe on many exciting adventures with her family as her imagination grows, and she follows her dream of becoming a writer. 

In book one, “Maylie and the Maze,” Maylie travels to England. In book two, “Maylie’s Luck of the Irish,” she travels to Ireland, and in book three, “Maylie of the Highlands,” she travels to Scotland. Along the way, Maylie grows as a person and becomes a better writer.

“It opens up her world in a lot of ways,” Tarpley said. 

Through the series, Tarpley, who is a world traveler, is introducing children to the traveling she wishes she could have done as a child, and she’s also teaching them about the writing process.

“It’s all woven into the story,” she said. She hopes to be able to give children insight into cultures and experiences they may not otherwise be exposed to.

Each of the books in Tarpley’s series has a companion coloring and activity book, and she also offers Young Writer’s Kit, which is a guide for children who share Maylie’s dream of becoming a writer. 

Illustrator Michael Garriga, who illustrated, “When You See a Child Who’s Different,” will also be at the event. Garriga has participated in previous library author/illustrator events.

Fall into a book at the Lincoln Parish Library this Saturday from 2-4 p.m. for an afternoon of games, treats and inspiring reading.

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