Video: More than 1,000 Third Graders Meet Children's Illustrator

2017 Young Readers Author/Illustrator Chris Van Dusen hugs a Rapid City third grader after his presentation, "Tales from Deckawoo Drive: Creating the 2017 Young Readers One Book" at the Rapid City Central Theater on Sept. 21 during the 2017 South Dakota Festival of Books. 

Chris Van Dusen Entertains Third Graders

Story courtesy of Black Hills Fox News

As part of the National Campaign for Grade Level Reading Initiative, United Way of the Black Hills partnered with the South Dakota Humanities Council to distribute books for the Third Annual Young Readers Festival of Books and to get the students who are now third graders pumped up.

Danita Simons, Community Impact Director of BH United Way, says:
"We wanted the kids to get excited about the book ... know about the book so when they come to Central today to meet the author illustrator, that they know all about the book. We want kids to have a prosperous future and we want them to value education and love reading because let's face it, you're learning to read to read to learn. "

The chosen book for this year is "Adventures on Deckawood Drive," written by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by Chris Van Dusen, who was at Central today to talk about the work.

Chris Van Dusen, illustrator, says; "The third graders, they sat really patiently, they had excellent questions and I think they had a good time. I had a good time. These are books based on our earlier series that we worked on together that Kate wrote called Merry Watson books."

Meeting the illustrator was just one of the many activities at the annual South Dakota Festival of Books, which was held Sept. 21-24 in Rapid City, Deadwood, Lead and Sturgis. 

Learn More About the Young Readers Festival

The 2018 Young Readers Festival of Books will be held in Brookings and Sioux Falls in September 2018. For more information, read our past blog posts about the event and its authors