Between the Lines: Raise your hand for children’s literacy

Raise your hand if you believe that children need to read more books.

Fostering literacy in young ones is an ongoing concern for parents, educators and librarians. Fairytale Town will do its share for the cause with its 14th annual two-day ScholarShare Children’s Book Festival. The celebration of reading will feature presentations by children’s book authors and illustrators, storytelling performances, hands-on literacy activities, exhibits, a book fair, and booths staffed by arts and literacy groups.

Headlining the fest will be Barney Saltzberg, author-illustrator of nearly 50 children’s books, including “Beautiful Oops.” Emceeing and storytelling will be award-winning artist-educator Francie Dillon and “friends” from Puppet Art Theater Company.

“The festival is the perfect opportunity for families to create or renew a shared love of reading, as well as being a fun outing the whole family will enjoy,” said Kathy Fleming, Fairytale Town’s executive director.

The free festival will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 27-28. Adults must be accompanied by children. Fairytale Town is at 3901 Land Park Drive, Sacramento; (916) 808-7462,

A couple, and authors

The “He Said, She Said” author tour is making stops at 80 independent bookstores around the country, including Avid Reader in Davis.

The Random House-sponsored “show” stars award-winning wife-husband authors Wendelin Van Draanen and Mark Huntley Parsons. She writes the Edgar Award-winning Sammy Keyes mystery series (think Nancy Drew in the 21st century), while he has published exclusively nonfiction until recently. Now they’re both targeting the young adult market and are promoting Parsons’ YA debut, “Road Rash.”

“By the time Mark started planning for the release of his debut novel, we finally figured out that what we do is kind of unique,” Van Draanen said.

“We’ve shared an office for the past 15 years and we’re still married – and it’s not a very big office,” Parsons said.

They’ll explain how they realized their publishing dreams while juggling full-time jobs and parenthood, and much more. “We’ll also talk about books, about how our little ‘mutual aid pact’ helps both of us be more creative and productive, how to stay motivated, and all about the book-to-movie experience,” Parson said.

Van Draanen knows something about moving a book onto the screen. Her YA novels “Shredderman Rules” and “Flipped” became films in 2007 and 2010, respectively.

Their presentation will be 7:30 p.m. Sept. 20 at Avid Reader, 617 Second St., Davis; (530) 758-4040.

Four for free at Sac State

Sacramento State is ready with its Author Lecture Series, a free program open to the public. The venue for all four events will be the University Library Gallery, 6000 J St., Sacramento. All events begin at 3 p.m. More information: (916) 278-5954 or email to

Sept. 23: Kim Bancroft, editor of the 2013 abridged edition of “Literary Industries: Chasing a Vanishing West,” first published in 1890 in “The Works of Hubert Howe Bancroft.” Kim Bancroft is the great-great-granddaughter of renowned 19th century California historian Hubert Howe Bancroft (1832-1918). She will talk about how he become a successful bookseller, collector and historian.

She is also the author of “The Heyday of Malcolm Margolin: The Damn Good Times of a Fiercely Independent Publisher,” a profile-in-stories of the founder of Berkeley’s Heyday Books.

Nov. 20: Former Sacramento Bee entertainment editor Bruce Dancis for his memoir, “Resister: A Story of Protest and Prison During the Vietnam War.”

Feb. 10: David Covin for his novel “Princes of the Road,” recalling the Pullman railroad-car porters of the 1930s.

April 9: Christopher Castaneda and Lee Simpson, co-editors of the essay collection “River City and Valley Life: An Environmental History of the Sacramento Region.”

More author appearances

• Roseville author Jack Parker retired in 1996 after a 33-year career in the medical field and has been writing full time ever since. He’s well known around town for his four-title “Adventure” series, with the template “Good always wins over evil.” His new book, “The Valley of Tranquility,” is outside of the series. “It’s about a young man who returns to a little village in a valley, and discovers a ghost in the house he buys,” Parker said. Look for him at:

1 p.m. Saturday at Barnes & Noble, 6111 Sunrise Ave., Citrus Heights; (916) 853-1511.

1 p.m. Sept. 20 at Barnes & Noble, 1256 Galleria Blvd., Roseville; (916) 788-4320.

• Estela Bernal for “Can You See Me Now?” 2 p.m. Sept. 14 at the Avid Reader at the Tower, 1600 Broadway, Sacramento; (916) 441-4400.

• Paul DeWitt and Dorothy De Mare for “Echo Summit,” 11 a.m. Sept. 21 at Face In a Book, 4359 Town Center Blvd., El Dorado Hills; (916) 941-9401.

From page to screen

Books-to-movies is an ongoing category, with plenty of room for discussion. Was the book better than the film or vice versa? These classic books are in the works as upcoming movies:

• “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley, starring James McAvoy, Jessica Brown Findlay and Daniel Radcliffe.

• “Animal Farm” by George Orwell, directed by Andy Serkis.

• “Madame Bovary” by Gustave Flaubert, starring Mia Wasikowska, Paul Giamatti and Ezra Miller.

• “The Sound and the Fury” by William Faulkner, starring Seth Rogen, Danny McBride and James Franco.

• “The Jungle Book” (animated) by Rudyard Kipling, starring the voices of Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Ben Kingsley and Christopher Walken.