Dollywood: Noted Children’s Authors To Help Launch 2011 KidsFest
PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (June 2011)—Popular children’s authors David Soman and Jacky Davis, the husband and wife creative team behind the Ladybug Girl series, and Loren Long, writer and illustrator of Otis, will appear at Dollywood on Friday, June 17, to help launch the park’s 2011 KidsFest celebration.
Both books have been adapted into 20-minute musicals performed by Dollywood’s Penguin Players at Dolly’s Imagination Playhouse. Joining the lineup, which includes the perennial favorite The Little Engine That Could, the Penguin Playhouse features six performances a day. The 2011 season gets under way on Friday, June 17, with book signings by Soman, Davis and Long.
Long will sign books immediately following the noon and 12:30 p.m. shows; Soman and Davis will be on hand after the 1:30 p.m. show.
Since its debut in 2008, the Ladybug series has spent 56 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and been applauded time and again for its ability to teach children the value of imagination and creativity.
Kirkus Reviews praised Ladybug Girl as having “ideal inspiration for little ones seeking empowerment,” and Publishers Weekly hailed it in a starred review as “a favorite series in the making.” The San Francisco Chronicle described Ladybug Girl at the Beach as “both a chronicle of a fun day at the beach with wonderful illustrations and as a perceptive depiction of a kid overcoming her fears in a spontaneous way.”
Soman and Davis write the Ladybug Girl bookstogether, and Mr. Soman illustrates. The books are inspired by their own children, Lucy and Sam.
In addition to Otis, the New York Times bestseller, Long also wrote and illustrated Drummer Boy. Long is the No. 1 New York Times best-selling illustrator of Watty Piper’s The Little Engine That Could and Madonna’s Mr. Peabody’s Apples. Long’s other New York Times best-selling books include Toy Boat by Randall DeSeve, which was awarded the 2007 Publisher’s Weekly Cuffie Award for Favorite Picture Book of the Year and the 2008 Great Lakes Book Award for Children's Picture Book, Angela and the Baby Jesus by the Pulitzer Prize winning author Frank McCourt, and the chapter book series Sluggers that he created with Phil Bildner.
His first picture book, Angela Johnson’s I Dream of Trains, won the SCBWI’s Golden Kite Award for picture book illustration. His version of Walt Whitman’s When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer was a Golden Kite Honor Book. Long co-wrote and illustrated the Sluggers chapter book series about an 1800s baseball team. In 2010, he illustrated President Barack Obama’s book, Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters.
Dollywood’s KidsFest also includes Gazillion Bubbles Show, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs™ 4D motion simulator experience, and Recycled Rhythm. The festival continues through Aug. 7.
A 150-acre family adventure park in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., Dollywood is the reigning Applause Award winner, the theme park industry’s highest accolade. Open nine months a year (March 26-Dec. 30), Dollywood offers more than 40 rides and attractions; award-winning live entertainment featuring country, bluegrass, gospel and mountain music; and a dozen crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region. Dollywood Vacations offers all-inclusive vacation planning that features lodging and tickets for Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country. For more information, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or visit dollywood.com. Operating days and hours vary.