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The annual Children's Arts and Literacy Festival (aka The CALF), is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. To help celebrate, the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council has invited Australian artist and illustrator Sophie Blackall to the official "Storybook Capital of America."

CALF organizer Sidney Levesque says "the Children’s Art & Literacy Festival is back on track this summer and tickets to this year's event are already available." With the 10th anniversary, it's going to be the biggest and best CALF celebration ever.

Sophie's Most Recent Book She Wrote & Illustrated the hilarious "Negative Cat"

Sophie Blackall won the 2016 Caldecott Medal for "Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear," and the 2019 Caldecott Medal for "Hello Lighthouse." She has illustrated more than 30 books for children, including the "Ivy + Bean" series, which is being modified into a family film by Netflix.

The events that are already planned (with more on the way) will take place June 9th through the 11th, 2022 in downtown Abilene. Some of the events are as follows:

  1. CALF Collectible - Paint a colorful, wooden keepsake sign
  2. Time To Rhyme - Create and illustrate your own poems
  3. Mixed Media - Create multi-media artwork
  4. Make Your Own Storybook Sculpture - Winnie the Bear
  5. Paint Wild Boars - Paint with cool and warm colors
  6. Big Red Lollypop Selfportrait - Using paint sticks recreate the Big Red Lollipop
  7. Baby Tree - Create an art piece inspired by the Baby Tree
  8. Write & Illustrate Your Own Storybook - Inspired by the Abilene Writers Guild
  9. Animals on the Frontline - Winnie the bear was an infantry brigade in World War 1
Photo by: CAC/Sophie Blackall
Photo by: CAC/Sophie Blackall

Don't forget to secure an autograph from Sophie Blackall during at least two autograph sessions and the "Meet the Illustrator" dinner. To reserve your tickets go to and follow the links, or call the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council at 325-677-1161.

The Cultural Affairs Council’s Executive Director Lynn Barnett says "the Children's Arts and Literacy Festival is presented by, an affiliate of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce and we are committed to preserving and promoting the arts and enriching lives in Abilene."
Photo by: CAC/Sidney Levesque
Photo by: CAC/Sidney Levesque

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