More than 40 original titles by African authors and Illustrators who have been approved after rigorous selection by an eight-person editorial board would be showcased at this year’s edition of Akada Children’s Books Festival (ACBF), with the theme “Through The Pages”.
This was revealed by the festival convener and author of several storybooks, Mrs. Olubunmi Aboderin Talabi, at a press conference. She informed that the largest Nigerian book festival curated specifically for children which encourages the culture of reading for pleasure from an early age, promotes indigenous languages and improves access to age-appropriate, non-academic books, would hold on Saturday, September 23, at Starfield Montessori School in Lekki, Lagos. “ACBF excels at hosting engaging activities in which families can participate together, by providing an avenue for parents, children, and teachers to discover new books.
“The fifth annual edition of the Akada Children’s Book Festival will showcase 41 original titles by local authors and Illustrators, approved after rigorous selection by an 8-person editorial board. “Books to be featured this year range from children’s picture books for toddlers to chapter books for teens, and the festival allows those books to be read and talked about,” stated Talabi. Host of the 2023 edition of the festival, Dara Oluwatoye, noted that increasing children’s access to indigenous and relatable stories goes a long way in positively impacting the society. “It is a thing of joy to see more homemade Nigerian stories because not a lot of people tell our stories…When you increase access to books and stories that children can relate to, where their reality is reflected, they become more engaged. Introducing certain topics like money, manners, and communication skills through the books, where they see a version of themselves, they’ll be able to replicate such behaviour in real life,”Oluwatoye stated.
Author of A Pre-School Alphabet Book, one of the featured books in this year’s edition, Noma Sodipo, stressed the importance of the festival for early childhood education, saying: “Young children need to be inspired to use their imagination and their senses. Books are very important, especially colourful books, during children’s early years. When they hold a book, turn the pages, and read, they are learning important motor, social, and emotional skills.” Meanwhile, the organisers informed that the word “Akada” was derived from the Yoruba word which means “a lover of literacy and books”, adding that the festival also offers a variety of workshops and sessions that can help children develop their literacy and technical skills; including author-led book readings, book chats, featured books, story time, book exhibitions, a chess tournament, a sip n paint, an art exhibition, a young authors’ spotlight, insightful sessions for parents and teachers, and professional workshops for writers, illustrators and publishers. These sessions, the organisers added, would be led by expert voices such as Abiola Bashorun, author, ‘Learning How to Learn in A-to-Z Ways’; Busola Dakolo, photographer; Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, Executive Secretary, Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency; Ifedolapo Peter-Ajakaiye, author, \Money Matters’; Enimien Inegbedion, founder, Arcadia Montessori; and Zeal Akaraiwe, CEO, Graeme Blaque Group.