Fair instills a love of reading in kids

A puppy leans in for some love during a recent OC Children’s Book Fair at Orange Coast College. This year the fair will feature an assortment of speakers, including NBA star Kobe Bryant. Booths, stages and presentations will round out the full day of events.

The 16th annual OC Children’s Book Festival will have a little something for everyone when it comes to the Orange Coast College campus on Sunday.

Among the highlights of the festival, which is designed to make reading fun for children, is the scheduled appearance of five-time NBA champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist Kobe Bryant.

Bryant has released two new children’s books, “The Wizenard Series: Training Camp,” an original portrait of five young basketball players, one enlightening coach and the awesome transformative power of the game and “Legacy and the Queen” a tale of finding your inner magic against all odds.

Bryant, who has said he is compelled to inspire and motivate young readers, is set to be interviewed by OCC English instructor of children’s literature Chris Evans.

“I love the possibilities literature has, especially when you see a kid light up with a book,” Evans said.

In addition to Bryant, the book fair will feature other authors such as reality TV star Elena Gant who released a new book titled “Rox and Pax: I Can Be That Too” — a story challenging gender stereotypes. There will also be illustrators and multiple stages and booths with presentations, all there to cater to the children.

The stages will be spaced throughout campus, including a science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (S.T.E.A.M) stage that will highlight space exploration in Orange Coast College’s planetarium. Renowned astrophysicist David A. Aguilar will share his experience working for NASA’s New Horizons Mission on the historic Pluto Flyby Mission.

Additional stages include the Storyteller, Illustrator and the Early Reader/Middle Grade/Teen Stages dedicated to books and activities for kids of all ages. Where authors read aloud their creations, a professional illustrator will teach how to draw well known cartoon characters.

The San Diego Zoo will have live animal presentations for books about animals, and handlers of animals will be at the Animal and Nature stages.

The festival will run across campus from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. Parking and attendance for the event is free.

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