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Monday, December 04, 2023

Coloring, bookmarks, face masks and owl puppets attracted children to the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art on Sunday.

More than 20 Florida-based authors and illustrators attended the museum’s Written Inspiration: A Children’s Book-Signing Event, where students, children and their families filled the lobby of the museum. The free event attracted more than 300 people.

The event was a way to attract a new audience to the museum, said Kathryn Rush, store manager at the Harn.

Carl Joseph, author of “Some Called Me ‘Superstar,’” spoke to an audience of approximately 30 about his life experiences and how they influenced his book. Joseph was born with one leg. In his book, he discussed how he was able to overcome his difficulties.

“My story is about determination,” he told the audience.

Aside from the readings, kids enjoyed arts and crafts some of the authors and illustrators set up.

Jeremy Shinn, 8, came to the event with his grandparents. He said his favorite activity was making an owl puppet using a paper bag.

Among the crowd of children and published authors, microbiology junior Elizabeth Pierre-Paul, 23, visited representatives from Wild Onion Press, one of the sponsors of the event.

Pierre-Paul wrote and illustrated “HIV Made Simple” as part of a class project. She was inspired to write her book for children born with HIV without anyone to help them cope, she said.

Carrie Clickard, author of “Victricia Malicia,” presented her book about a girl born into a pirate family. But, as Clickard said, “She’s just not piraticle.”

Clickard said the book is about gender reversals. The main character’s mom is the captain of the ship, and her father is the cook.

She said she wanted young readers to know, “You don’t have to be what’s expected.”

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