WordPlay – For children aged 0 to 100!

WordPlay, a dedicated children’s literary festival, occurs July 1, 2022 at River John Fire Hall. It’s a morning of magical storytelling and sharing by children’s authors and illustrators. WordPlay 2022 will include children’s authors Lana Shupe and Gail Francis. 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 Shupe

Lana now knows that dreams do come true. With the publication of her first picture book, The Lonely Little Lighthouse, from Nimbus Publishing in 2022 and her chapter book with Running the Goat Books and Broadsides in 2023, her heart is full of gratitude.
Lana believes in the importance of putting good books in the hands of young readers. As a teacher the favourite time of day was story time. As a mother of three she couldn’t wait for that twilight hour when her dearest little people were tucked up in bed and waiting for her to read from a cherished book. Her heart raced and her pulse quickened every time her children asked for her “imagination book bag” which is what they called the stories she pretended to pull out of an old battered bag she kept beside their beds. As a bookseller she delighted in meeting readers of all ages. As a professional storyteller with Storytellers of Canada she has delighted in learning, writing and performing tales that make her audience laugh and cry in equal measure. As a book reviewer she loves reading books sent to her for review, writing the reviews, meeting the authors and helping them promote their work.
Lana is currently at work on her second picture book. She walks three times a day with her “sidekick” a wee West Highland Terrier named Thunder. Her house is overflowing with books and she reads at least one picture book a day – she believes all adults should!

Gail Francis

Gail Francis is the Atlantic Canadian author of Moonbeam (Francis Books, 2019), for which she was awarded the Dr. Marylin Trenholme Indigenous Literacy Award. Originally from Neqotkuk (Tobique First Nation, she currently lives in Miramichi, NB with her husband. Gail holds a Bachelor of Education, Masters in Adult Education and a Masters in Curriculum Instruction/Design from the University of New Brunswick (UNB). Moonbeam has been published in three languages: English, Wolastoqey and Mi’kmaq. Gail’s second picture book will be released this year.

On July 1st at the Read by the Sea Festival, I will have the pleasure of meeting the author Gail Francis – author of the children’s book, Moonbeam. Illustrated by Tara Audibert, this picture book was a lovely read. I am hoping to have my copy signed! Gail has honoured First Nations cultural traditions and practices in this delightful story of the naming of a newborn baby. I was thoroughly caught up in Moonbeam’s excitement and marvel at the whole process of welcoming a new baby into her community. Moonbeam loves hearing the retelling of her own naming and we, the readers, delight in hearing it for the first time. A sweet story filled with the celebration of new life, family and community.
The illustrations show such emotion. Each page is eye catching, bright and colourful. — Submitted by Lana Shupe

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.