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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 1, 2008

Children's books authors exhibit opens Feb. 10 at Old Capitol Museum

"From Prairies to Cornfields: Iowa's Children's Book Authors," a new exhibit in the University of Iowa Old Capitol Museum's Discovery Center and at the UI Museum of Natural History, explores Iowa themes in past and contemporary children's literature.

"From Prairies to Cornfields" will open with a panel discussion at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10, followed by a public reception. The exhibit is planned in conjunction with the yearlong exhibition, "A Community of Writers: Creative Writing at the University of Iowa," at the Old Capitol Museum.

"From Prairies to Cornfields" showcases a selection of contemporary and past children's book authors of Iowa, exploring the relationship of picture and text, and how the two create storytelling at its purest form. From the golden cornfields of Iowa, several children's book authors have found a voice in presenting the Iowa way of life and the themes that follow them.

The panel discussion will feature Iowa authors Tess Weaver, Jeremy Jackson, William Hossford and Michelle Edwards. Deb Green, coordinator of children's services at the Iowa City Public Library, will also be part of the panel discussion. The panel participants will discuss their writing experiences and the influences of living in Iowa.

A series of programmed events are scheduled for the spring including "Prairies to Cornfields Story Time." Story times will feature authors from Iowa, each reading from their most recent publication and discussing their writing process.  Barnes & Noble will provide a selection of books for purchase at every reading. Children of all ages are encouraged to attend.

Spring events include the following:

--Sunday, Feb. 10, 2 p.m.: Opening exhibit, reception and panel discussion including Iowa authors Tess Weaver, Jeremy Jackson, William Hossford and Michelle Edwards, Old Capitol Museum.

--Sunday, Feb. 24, 3 p.m.: Jeremy Jackson, reading from "Hot Lunch" and "24 Girls in Seven Days" and Claudia McGehee reading from "A Woodland Counting Book" and "A Tallgrass Prairie Alphabet," Biosphere Discovery Hub, Museum of Natural History.

--Sunday, March 16, 3 p.m.: Michelle Edwards, reading from "Chicken Man" and "Stinky Stern Forever" and Maribeth Boelts reading from selected titles, Old Capitol Museum.

--Sunday, March 30, 3 p.m.: Jacqueline Briggs Martin, and Wendy Allen reading from "Fort Brokenheart" in the Biosphere Discovery Hub, Museum of Natural History.

--Sunday, April 6, 3 p.m.: Tess Weaver, reading from "Opera Cat" and "Cat Jumped In!" and Dori Hillestad Butler, reading from "The Truth About Truman School" in the Biosphere Discovery Hub, Museum of Natural History.

--Sunday, April 20, 3 p.m.: William Hosford, reading from "Geo the Geode" and "ABalloonC," Old Capitol Museum.

--Additional dates and authors to be announced.

All events at the Old Capitol Museum are free and open to the public.  Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa sponsored events. For more information or special accommodations, contact the Museum of Natural History at 319-335-0606 or the Old Capitol Museum at 319-335-0548.

The exhibit is supported by a grant from Humanities Iowa, the National Endowment for the Humanities and a donation by Barnes & Noble Booksellers.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Katherine Moermond, Pentacrest Museums, 319-335-0548,; Sarah Horgen, Pentacrest Museums, 319-335-0606,; George McCrory, University News Services, 319-384-0012,; Writer: Brittany Piehl