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Library events encourage literacy in exciting ways

The Airdrie Public Library (APL) will shine a light on fun, outside-the-norm literature with Free Comic Book Day and TD Canadian Children’s Book Week.
The Airdrie Public Library is promoting different types of literature with Free Comic Book Day and a visit from a children’s horror author.
The Airdrie Public Library is promoting different types of literature with Free Comic Book Day and a visit from a children’s horror author.

The Airdrie Public Library (APL) will shine a light on fun, outside-the-norm literature with Free Comic Book Day and TD Canadian Children’s Book Week.

“Literature isn’t just non-fiction or fiction,” said Wyatt Tremblay, APL communication co-ordinator. “There are a hundred different genres – comic books being one of them. Graphic novels. Children’s books. The vision of the library is to encourage literacy, and these different events…are good opportunities to promote what we’re doing.”

On May 5, APL will transform into a comic-book enthusiast’s dream come true when Treasure Cove Comics and Collectibles provides free comic books to the event’s first 100 attendees.

Canadian artist Dwight Lockhart will also be in attendance to talk about his comic book, The Skywatchers 2120, which is set in Calgary. Lockhart will be available from 1 to 4 p.m. to sign copies and answer questions.

Then, on May 9, in celebration of TD Canadian Children’s Book Week, Ontario author Marina Cohen will be at the library to talk to elementary students about her horror-themed children’s books, The Doll’s Eye and The Inn Between.

The Inn Between was nominated for the Alberta-based Rocky Mountain Book Award, while the Ontario Library Association has nominated The Doll’s Eye for the Silver Birch Award.

Cohen, who is also a teacher, said she hopes to incite a passion for reading and writing in young audiences.

“I think that, ideally, parents like their children to be reading material that is highly literary,” Cohen said.

“But what they don’t understand is, first and foremost, you need a passion for reading. You need to develop a love for reading, and you develop that love for reading by reading a variety of material – material that interests you.”

Cohen points to the importance of comics and graphic novels in offering an avenue into the literary world. For her, the horror genre is what drew her into reading when she was young.

She said she will also discuss her influences, inspirations and her long path to publication. There are lessons packed everywhere, she said, be it through your environment or perseverance.

“Everything that you experience and read becomes a part of who you are, and it’s still in you when you write your own material,” she said. “You’re very much influenced by those that go before and by your environment.”

Selected by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre to share the importance of reading, Cohen said she is excited to visit Alberta for the first time and share her books.

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