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Favorite Children's Author Thacher Hurd Featured at Family Series, Black, White & Read All Over

Contact: Susan Corbett
Phone: 412.622.8866
Fax: 412.688.8617

For Immediate Release

January 25, 2006 . . . On Saturday, February 11, Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures will present acclaimed children's author Thacher Hurd, whose wacky storylines and vibrant illustrations have made him a favorite with both children and critics. "Kids like to see that initial burst of energy," Hurd says of his richly colored books. "In fact, that's what kids are." Hurd will appear at the Carnegie Library Lecture Hall in Oakland at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, February 11 as part of Black, White & Read All Over, the popular family author series that brings America's favorite children's writers and illustrators to Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh for lively talks and lots of questions from the audience. A reception and booksigning with the author follows his talk.

Thacher Hurd was born into the world of children's books. Son of the acclaimed children's authors, Edith Thacher Hurd and Clement Hurd, who illustrated the children's classic Goodnight Moon, Hurd grew up in a rambling house in Vermont filled with the "atmosphere of paint smells, color and creativity." Hurd says that in his work he wants to create for readers "an alive, vibrant world of energy and wild, bursting color." Illustrator of over thirty books, his most popular include Art Dog, about a super-hero canine museum security guard, and Zoom City, in which dogs hurtle through city streets in high-powered vintage automobiles. His Mystery on the Docks has been adapted for television on the PBS program Reading Rainbow, as has the jazz-inflected Mama Don't Allow, which was also adapted as an opera for children by the Los Angeles City Opera. In his newest book, Sleepy Cadillac: A Bedtime Drive, a '50s-era blue Cadillac convertible, tail fins alight, floats by a sleepy child's bedroom window to invite him for a ride. Hurd currently lives in Berkeley, CA.

Now in its fifth season, Black, White & Read All Over encourages children to read and promotes family literacy. For information and tickets call (412) 622-8866. Black, White and Read All Over is presented by Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures, and is sponsored by The Grable Foundation, Dominion Foundation, and Mary Hillman Jennings Foundation, Ralph Munn Endowment, and UPMC Health Plan.

The 2005-2006 season of Black, White & Read All Over started last fall with appearances by award-winning authors Avi and Peter Sis, and will feature the following writers this spring:

Ashley Bryan
March 4, 2006

The books of Ashley Bryan are celebrations of African and Caribbean culture-folktales, poetry and spirituals that blend rhythm and rhyme with brilliant color. An internationally acclaimed children's author and illustrator, toy collector and puppet maker, he is a consummate performer, captivating adults and children with his dramatic storytelling voice and rhythmic body movements. Bryan is also a poet who has beautifully illustrated his own poems in Sing to the Sun.

Patricia Polacco
March 25, 2006

Patricia Polacco inherited a natural storytelling voice from both sides of her family. One of America's most-beloved picture book creators, the author and illustrator transforms childhood memories and elements of her Ukrainian, Russian, Jewish and Irish heritage into warm and poignant stories. Many of Polacco's books, such as The Keeping Quilt and Pink and Say, feature characters of different races, religions, and age groups, celebrating both diversity and universality.

Megan McDonald
April 22, 2006

Megan McDonald uses her experiences as a park ranger, museum guide, and librarian to tell stories to children in picture books, beginning readers and novels. The Pittsburgh-native writer is best known as the creator of the wildly successful Judy Moody chapter books including Judy Moody Gets Famous! and Judy Moody Saves the World. Adventures of the feisty third-grader are popular with both boys and girls and have inspired a second series about Judy's pesky brother, Stink.