Celebrate reading and science! Weekend Family Picks

Celebrate reading and science! Weekend Family Picks

We're celebrating children's literature and science this weekend -- with not one but two appearances by the Cat in the Hat -- starting with the annual Youth Literature Festival at Krannert.

You can also check out the Reading Group's Family Fair, or meet Clifford and the Cat at a WEIU-TV event in Charleston. Learn about the science of makeup from "science goddess" Joanne Manaster, chat with a scientist at the Market at the Square, or visit the "Biobus" at the Orpheum Children's Science Museum. Happy learning!

Meet an author! 2010 Youth Literature Festival, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, 500 S. Goodwin Ave., U. Free.

Fourteen children’s authors and illustrators from across the United States — and The Cat in the Hat — will be on hand for this annual event hosted by the College of Education and supported by the Community Foundation of East Central Illinois.

Participants include Debbi Chocolate, author of more than 20 books, some featured on “Sesame Street”; Jim Aylesworth, author of “Our Abe Lincoln” and “The Mitten”; National Public Radio commentator Beth Finke, who wrote an award-winning book about guide dogs, “Hanni and Beth: Safe & Sound;” and Edgar Allan Poe Award-winning mystery writer Will Hobbs.

Other activities include puppetry by ventriloquist Hannah Leskosky, music by the Bowdacious String Band and the Mo’ Betta Music Jazz Band, storytelling, children’s songs and dance performances.

The first two days of the festival took place at 40 elementary, middle and high schools in central Illinois, where authors talked about their writing and did activities with students.

For information: Check the pullout section in Thursday’s News-Gazette or visit http://youthlitfest.education.illinois.edu

Science at the Market: Market at the Square, 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, southeast parking lot of Lincoln Square Village, Vine and Illinois streets, Urbana. Free.

Curious about how superconductors work, or why stars twinkle? Here’s a chance for your kids to query scientists from the University of Illinois Physics Department at the weekly farmer’s market in Urbana.

For information: Call 621-8553, 384-2319 or 384-0200 or visit http://market-at-the-square.blogspot.com

The Science of Makeup: 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Champaign Public Library, 200 W. Green St., C. Free.

Ever wondered about what cosmetics are really made of and how these chemicals affect your skin? Science whiz Joanne Manaster shares the secrets in this free program for middle and high school students. Registration is required.

For information: Call 403-2070 or visit www.champaign.org

Be a Buddy: Champaign County Down Syndrome Network Buddy Walk, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Champaign County Fairgrounds, Urbana. Free.

Join the fun and support a good cause during National Down Syndrome Awareness Month! Take the one-mile Buddy Walk at noon, or enjoy carnival games, live music, bounce houses, a petting zoo, monster trucks, pony rides and more. Food and raffle prizes will be available, as well as live performances from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

For information: Visit www.champaigndsn.org/buddywalk.html

Reading Group Family Fair: 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, The Reading Group, 3011A Village Office Place, C.

Reading games and activities for children of all ages. You’ll also have a chance to check out the latest in computer support programs for reading. Door prizes will be awarded.

For information: Call 351-9144 or visit www.readinggroup.org

Meet Clifford! “Kids Day Down on Sesame Street!” 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Kiwanis Park, Charleston. Free.

This day of fun hosted by WEIU-TV will include snacks, games and activities for children of all ages. Kids can meet The Cat in the Hat and Clifford The Big Red Dog, so bring your camera. Enjoy door prizes, goody bags and a free book.

The event will also host a canned food drive to assist HOPE of East Central Illinois and the Charleston Food Pantry.

For information: Call 581-7912 or visit www.weiu.net/kidsgo

Get on the BioBus: 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Orpheum Children’s Science Museum. 346 N. Neil St., C. Free with museum admission.

Tour the BioBus, a carbon-neutral mobile science lab visiting from New York. Powered by solar, wind and biofuels, the bus lets visitors explore the world around them with research-grade microscopes, making their own discoveries under the guidance of professional scientists. The UIUC Physics Van will also feature live physics demonstrations and hands-on activities.

For information: Call 352-5895 or visit www.biobus.org, www.physicsvan.org or www.orpheumkids.com/event-calendar

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Check the Are We There Yet? blog every Friday for upcoming family friendly events, pulled from our News-Gazette online calendar, e3 magazine and other sources.

Do you have an item you'd like to submit? Email me at jwurth@news-gazette.com, or use the new and improved N-G online calendar on the News-Gazette home page, www.news-gazette.com.

Photos: (Top) Rana Alsaqri of Champaign tries to persuade her daughter, Janeen, to pet Clifford the Big Red Dog at WILL-TV's 2004 Share A Story Day at Market Place Mall in Champaign. News-Gazette file photo

(Bottom) The BioBus at the Orpheum Children's Museum, shown here in 2008, is a 1974 city bus converted onto a mini-lab. News-Gazette photo by Robin Scholz

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