WordPlay – For children aged 0 to 100!

WordPlay, a dedicated children’s literary festival, occurs Thursday July 6, 2023 at the River John Legion. It’s an afternoon of magical storytelling and sharing by children’s authors and illustrators. WordPlay 2023 will include children’s authors Lana Button and Olga Manzoni. Music and activities round out the event. Watch this space for more announcements, and keep an eye on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/readbythesea, and our Twitter feed, @RJreadbythesea.

Lana Button

When I was growing up in the tiny border town of St. Stephen, New Brunswick, I didn't think I would grow up to be an author. I was pretty sure I’d be a movie star— I spent lots of time practicing being a star while singing into my skipping rope to large crowds of imaginary people.

I studied acting, and performed in front of theatergoing crowds, and on TV and film sets in Montreal and Vancouver. But then I started studying early childhood education and fell in love with the magic of picture books. I began writing. I am super proud that my stories have won awards and have been translated into different languages. But I am most proud when I hear that they have inspired a child, given them a chance to cheer, and helped them to find their own voice.

One of my favorite things about being a children’s author is sharing my stories through presentations. I love reading aloud, I love giving insight into how a book is born, and I love talking with the children about the challenges and triumphs they have in common with my characters. (And they give me a real microphone! So I usually throw in a song or two!) I have had the pleasure of presenting to large crowds of real children in school settings, libraries, and festivals from Saskatchewan’s Festival of Words, to St. Lucia’s Rainforest of Reading. I was a proud touring author for TD Canadian Children's Book Week.

I enjoy working with literary organizations that support children through books, such as IBBY Canada, First Book Canada and the One World School House. My husband and I live in Burlington, Ontario with our doting dog and our demanding cat. We have three amazing daughters who are all grown up, but will thankfully still listen to picture books.

Olga Manzoni

Olga Manzoni is a Certified Executive Coach with more than 25 years experience as a leader in Human Resources and talent development, having worked in a number of different industries and work cultures. She is a new local author with her first book “Mondays with Nonna” written as a children’s book for adults first. She was born in Quebec to a Quebecoise mother and Italian father, which formed her deep appreciation for culture, tradition and family. Raised most of her life in Nova Scotia, she proudly calls herself a “French-Canadian-Italian-Maritime”. Olga lives with Fred, her HHBF (husband, hero, best friend) and is blessed with 3 wonderful children and 2 amazing grandchildren.

Wild Willie

Eleven-year-old Wild Willie knows the importance of reading and sharing his love of books with his YouTube channel. Discover new favourites – and remember old ones – with a focus on Canadian authors, especially Atlantic writers as Wild Willie interviews them on location throughout Nova Scotia. With reviews, readings and interviews with well-known and emerging authors, Wild Willie celebrates literacy in a big way!

Visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC059BR1wnLzmeUo5XX9qoxg for his Dan Gutman interview; and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adNxMYoZusk for Willie’s review of a book set near River John, home of Read by the Sea.

“Read by the Sea offers a gorgeous location, a cadre of dedicated volunteers, and a passionate audience of readers. There is something for everyone. If you get a chance, go!”

Jessica Scott Kerrin, author