Akada Children’s Book Festival Set to Host Fifth Edition

…event scheduled for Saturday, 23rd September 2023 at Starfield Montessori School, Lagos

The Akada Children’s Book Festival (ACBF) will return to Lagos for its fifth year on Saturday, September 23, 2023. The festival which is the first and largest Nigerian book festival curated specifically for children will be held at the Starfield Montessori School in Lekki, Lagos. Themed “Through the Pages”, the event will spotlight a diverse lineup of authors and illustrators who are sharing their stories of Africa and their heritage, culture, and communities through children’s literature.

The ACBF is a showcase of children’s books written by African authors or books from around the world written for a diverse audience of children. The name of the festival “Akada” was derived from the Yoruba word which means “a lover of literacy and books”. The annual event provides a visible platform for the work of indigenous authors and encourages broad public engagement in children’s books and audiences for both Nigerian and international literature.

Speaking at the press conference to unveil the 2023 edition, Mrs Olubunmi Aboderin Talabi, renowned author and convener of the festival said, “The festival encourages the culture of reading for pleasure from an early age, and it improves access to age-appropriate, non-academic books. 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 5th 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.

The ACBF is a valuable resource for children, parents, and educators. The festival provides a unique opportunity for children to meet their favourite authors, learn about different cultures, and explore the world of books. The festival will feature a variety of activities, 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.

The ACBF also offers a variety of workshops and sessions that can help children develop their literacy and technical skills. These will include sessions 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.

Noma Sodipo, Author of A Pre-School Alphabet Book, one of the featured books in this year’s edition underpinned 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.

It is a thing of joy to see more homemade Nigerian stories because not a lot of people tell our stories” Dara Oluwatoye, media personality and host of the 2023 edition of the festival, further highlighted.  “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.

With free admission, the festival is a great opportunity for parents and educators to learn about the importance of reading and writing African stories for children; and is an opportunity for children to learn about African stories and authors. A must-attend event for everyone who cares about children’s literacy, the ACBF is supported by IweMi, PepsiCo, Cool FM, Leadway Assurance, STEM-METS, The Learning Place, Parkview International Kindergarten School, and the Nurturing Tree Nursery School.


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