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Book festival to celebrate, reward children authors

First and largest Nigerian book festival for children, Akada Children’s Book Festival (ACBF) is set to hold its 4th edition in Lagos. Publisher and Convener…

First and largest Nigerian book festival for children, Akada Children’s Book Festival (ACBF) is set to hold its 4th edition in Lagos.

Publisher and Convener of the ACBF, Oluwabunmi Abodunrin Talabi, disclosed this in a press briefing.

According to her, the 2022 edition of the ACBF will be a one-day physical event as opposed to the 2020 and 2021 editions held virtually due to the Covid restrictions.

She also stated that the book festival themed, ‘Together Again’ will be held on Saturday, October 29, and graced by 24 children book authors from around the country.

She said, “The ACBF is a showcase of children’s books written by African authors or books from around the world written for a diverse audience of children.

“The gathering was held for the first time in 2019 and we thought there will about 400 people showing up. We had over 1400 people show up that day.

“This year will be the 4th Akada Book Festival. Over the last two years, it has been held online because of the social distancing as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The 4th edition is the first time we will be back since the first one. So the theme for this year’s festival is ‘Together Again’.”

Talabi added that the book festival had got better each year as it made positive impacts on children.

She said, “When we did the first Festival in 2019, it was difficult to find children authors and child books.  However, when we met we bonded immediately because we were able to recognize that there is a challenge.

“People are more likely to buy books for adults than children’s books because they think that it is more intellectually superior to write books for adults than to write children books.

“The ACBF has created room for many children authors. I’d like to also believe that we have enabled improved access to books because this is a message we keep sharing for people to buy age appropriate books for their children.”

One of the children authors, Mariam Longe, who was present at the press briefing, stated that she wanted to use her book to lend her voice to save vultures from going extinct by teaching children about them from an early stage.

She said, “When we talked about vultures going extinct, these children never understand because these topics are discussed for mostly adults.

“We are doing ourselves a big disservice if we can’t get the children to understand these things at an early stage. So I wrote these book that is relatable to children. For me, I wanted to take environmental education outside school curriculum. I wanted it to be fun and relatable. So far, we have got positive reviews as kids love it. What’s more exciting is that Adults are learning from it as well.”

The ACBF is also set to reward deserving children from across Nigeria in the Writing and Illustration category, with N100,000 for the first price winner, books and other prices for runners-up.

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