Read Across Oklahoma returns to the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden on Tuesday, April 3 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. with author/illustrator Hannah Harrison as this year’s special guest. Hundreds of children from across Oklahoma will gather to celebrate literacy and hear Harrison read from her 2015 book, “Bernice Gets Carried Away”. The book chronicles a day in the life of Bernice, a cat, upset after a series of negative experiences, finding inspiration in comforting her friends having even worse days than her own. The book also served as the inspiration for this year’s Read Across Oklahoma theme: Get Carried Away Reading.
Hannah E. Harrison was born in Laconia, New Hampshire. She was an only child and spent most of her time drawing, playing outside and harassing her pets. When she won the Young Author Book Award for a book she wrote in the second grade, she realized that she wanted to be a professional picture book maker when she grew up. With that goal in mind, she went on to graduate from Colby College in Waterville, Maine as a Senior Scholar in Painting with a Major in Studio Art and a Minor in Creative Writing.
After graduating from college, Hannah was a sign maker, worked at an art gallery, painted sets for a theatre company, worked in Special Education, became a wife and a mother, and moved to Oklahoma--all while developing her illustration portfolio.
Hannah joined forces with her agent, Abigail Samoun of Red Fox Literary, in 2011. Her first book, “Extraordinary Jane” was Red Fox’s first book to go to auction. It received three starred reviews, was a Junior Library Guild selection, a Kirkus Best Book of the Year, won the Oklahoma Book Award for Illustration, and was selected for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Her subsequent books, including “Bernice Gets Carried Away”, have also gone on to receive starred reviews and were finalists for the Oklahoma Book Award in both the Writing and Illustration categories. Her forthcoming book, “Friends Stick Together”, stars a reserved Rhinoceros and a rambunctious Tickbird, and is due to be released on April 10.
Hannah currently lives in Ada, Oklahoma with her drummer husband, two bouncing daughters (ages 8 and 3), and her crabby cat Peppercorn. They live together in a 100-year-old home that they just finished renovating from top to bottom.
In addition to Harrison, the event will feature appearances from Grammy-winning children’s entertainers Sugar Free Allstars and Nature Cat, the character from the PBS Kids series of the same name.
Event maps and itineraries will be available in the Global Plaza. Event activities are free with Zoo admission thanks to financial and volunteer support from Target. Read Across Oklahoma is part of the statewide Ready to Learn initiative coordinated by the Oklahoma Department of Libraries and the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (OETA).
This program promotes literacy and helps build the foundation for a lifetime of learning, specifically targeting preschool children who may be at risk for low literacy. For information, contact Candice Rennels at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Additional Read Across Oklahoma 2018 partners include Capitol Hill High School, FCCLA, Metro Technology Center, Pizza Hut, Tinker Federal Credit Union, The Krueger Foundation, Metropolitan Library System, Target, Oklahoma Literacy Coalition and the OKC Literacy Coalition.