'Stinky Cheese Man' Writer to Visit JMU, Harrisonburg School

From: Public Affairs

Jon Scieszka (Photo by Marty Umans)

March 31, 2008

HARRISONBURG Jon Scieszka (pronounced "SHEH-ska"), the writer of best-selling children's books and the first National Ambassador for Young People's Literature will talk about the importance of quality children's literature and visit a "town" inspired by his new book series when he comes to James Madison University Monday, April 14.

Scieszka, who was named to the new post by the Librarian of Congress James H. Billington in January, is a colleague and friend of Dr. Joan Kindig, an associate professor of early, elementary and reading education at JMU. "Jon is the most influential person in children's literature today," Kindig said. "He is so outgoing and good to the bone," she said, making him a perfect ambassador to raise awareness of the benefits of literacy and education.

The writer of a new series of books for preschool and kindergarten children, Trucktown, Scieszka will visit Keister Elementary School in Harrisonburg, where a parking lot full of all kinds of trucks fire trucks, garbage trucks, dump trucks will await inspection by kindergarten and first-grade students from the school.

Scieszka and artist Lane Smith teamed to produce "The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales," which was a Caldecott Honor Book for 1993 in the annual Association for Library Service to Children competition for best picture books for children. Scieszka and Smith also collaborated on "The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs" and the Tim Warp Trio chapter book series. In addition to his writing career, Scieszka is the founder of a nonprofit literacy initiative, Guys Read.

"Trucktown" at Keister Elementary School
8:45-11:30 a.m.

Presentation by Jon Scieszka
4 p.m.
War Memorial Auditorium, Memorial Hall, JMU

Question-and-answer session follows
Scieszka signs copies of his books, which are available for purchase, after the free public event.
Parking available in lots C7, C8 and R9, which are all located between Memorial Hall and Veterans Memorial Stadium.

While at JMU, Scieszka will meet with students in Kindig's children's literature class and have lunch with College of Education faculty and the winner of a 25-words-or-less essay contest for JMU students on the topic "Why I want to have lunch with the 'Stinky Cheese Man.'"

JMU Public Affairs contact: Janet Smith, 540-568-8008 or smithjl@jmu.edu.

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