Scieszka Fiesta features top children's author

Reading event • Man behind "Stinky Cheese Man" will appear in West Jordan on Saturday.
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Author Jon Scieszka is coming to town — which may mean more to children than it does to adults.

The man who has sold more than 11 million books — with titles such as The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, Squids Will Be Squids and The Time Warp Trio series — will headline a family event on Saturday at 10 a.m. at the West Jordan Library and Event Center.

The librarian of Congress named Scieszka the national ambassador for young people's literature in 2008. In the world of children's books, it doesn't get much bigger than this.

"It is a big deal," said Anna Zanarini, children's librarian at Salt Lake County Library Services. "And we just sent him an email and lucked out. He had availability and agreed to come."

The author — whose last name is pronounced SHESS-kuh — is the founder of Guys Read, a web-based literacy program designed to help boys become self-motivated, lifelong readers.

"Boys often have to read books they don't really like," he wrote on his website, "They don't get to choose what they want to read. And what they do like to read, people often tell them is not really reading."

He recommends letting boys choose what they read, including nonfiction, graphic novels, comic strips, humor, magazines, newspapers and online text; getting boys to recommend what they like to read to other boys; and providing boys with male role models for reading in school and at home.

Which fits in perfectly with the goal of Salt Lake County Library Services.

"It's all about getting kids excited to read," said Zanarini. "Not just boys, but all kids. We want to make reading fun — something they want to do, not something they have to do."

The free event — dubbed the Scieszka Fiesta — begins Saturday at 10 a.m. and will feature hands-on activities, crafts, music and storytelling. And, of course, an appearance by the author. —

Scieszka Fiesta

When • Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m.

Where • West Jordan Library and Event Center, 8030 S. 1825 West, West Jordan

Admission • Free