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spacer spacer Featured Speakers for the October 25, 2014 Festival

M. T. Anderson, is the author of picture story books, pre-teen books, and young-adult novels. He won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature in 2006 for The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, volume one of the “Octavian Nothing” books which are set in Revolution-era Boston. Other well known novels are FEED, a National Book Award Finalist about a future world where internet connections feed directly into the consumer’s brain and language has gone into a steep decline, and Thirsty where a boy appears to be turning into a vampire. Learn more about him and his works at

Diane deGroat, who lives in Massachusetts, has illustrated over 130 books. She began her career illustrating others’ books, then decided she wanted to write her own. Her first chapter book that she wrote and illustrated was Annie Pitts, Artichoke, published in 1992. The first picture book that she wrote was Roses Are Pink Your Feet Really Stink. Charlie the Ranch Dog was a #1 book on the NY Times Bestseller List. Diane donated original from Charlie and the Christmas Kitty to the Festival Gallery Collection, along with the steps leading up to it. Diane’s web site is found at

Oliver Jeffers, was born in Australia but soon moved to Northern Ireland where he lived until when he moved to Brooklyn in 2008. His unique books have been translated into over 30 languages and have won numerous awards. His most recent book, a New York Times bestseller, is The Day the Crayons Quit. The Incredible Book Eating Boy won an Irish Book Award in 2007 as did This Moose Belongs to Me in 2012. Lost and Found the animation has won more than 40 international awards. In 2007 Oliver was the official World Book Day illustrator. Oliver’s web site is located at

Richard Michelson, who lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, is a poet, children’s book author, and is the owner of Michelson Galleries. He was born in Brooklyn in an area that was 90% Jewish but 12 years later would be 90% African-American. As a result, many of his books deal with racial issues and interactions between races. As Good As Anybody, about the friendship between Martin Luther King, Jr. and Abraham Joshua Herchel and how their friendship promoted the message of love and equality for all, won the Sydney Taylor Gold Medal Busing Brewster was one of the 2010 New York Times 10 Best Illustrated Books. Other well known books include Lipman Pike and Twice as Good. More can be learned about Richard at

Pamela Zagarenski, has received two Caldecott Honor Awards: in 2010 for Red Sings From Treetops: A Year in Colors and in 2013 for Sleep Like A Tiger, both by Joyce Sidman. Her most recently illustrated book is What the Heart Knows, Chants, Charms & Blessings by Joyce Sidman. Other titles include This Is Just To Say and Mites To Mastodons. Pamela has said: “I paint to discover a secret code which needs to be cracked in order to better understand myself, the mysteries of life, the soul, God and even the mysteries I don’t yet know exist.” Learn more about Pamela and her work at


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