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The Library of Michigan Launches its 2011 Michigan Reads! Program with Devin Scillian's Memoirs of a Goldfish

Contact: Karren Reish – Library of Michigan (517) 241-0021
Agency: Library of Michigan

LANSING - The Library of Michigan is pleased to announce "Memoirs of a Goldfish" by Michigan author Devin Scillian, illustrated by Tim Bowers (Sleeping Bear Press, 2010) is the featured title for the 2011 "Michigan Reads! One State, One Children's Book" program.  
 
This original "Michigan Reads!" program (www.michigan.gov/michiganreads) is devoted to increasing early childhood literacy and pre-reading readiness.  Programming, events and author visits are scheduled throughout the state in September and October 2011, with the program launch on September 8th, International Literacy Day.  
 
Sponsored by the Library of Michigan Foundation in partnership with Target, the "Michigan Reads!" program recognizes the importance and value of libraries in providing quality books, programs and services to children and families in Michigan. These books and services provide a foundation for literacy, enabling future school success.
 
The "Michigan Reads!" program is modeled after the "One Book, One Community" concept and is designed to emphasize the importance of shared reading practices with babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and young school-age children. These practices set the stage for fluent reading achievement in children.
 
Memoirs of a Goldfish presents a charming view of life from inside a small glass bowl! With his bowl to himself and his normal routine, Goldfish loves his life, until one day… intruders arrive and it looks like things will never be the same. But time away from his new companions gives him a chance to rethink the pros and cons of a solitary life and discover what he's been missing. Filled with clever rhyming text, the message about friendship accompanying the bright illustrations will captivate readers of all ages.
 
"We anticipate that this year's Michigan Reads! program will get Michigan residents of all ages reading aloud to young people, inspiring a love of reading in both readers and listeners," commented State Librarian Nancy Robertson. "You simply really can't read "Memoirs of a Goldfish" just once, and the read-aloud experience will leave the children asking to hear it and other children's books as part of their regular family experience."
 
"I've always marveled at the capacity of books to connect people. That's what Michigan Reads is all about," said author Devin Scillian. "And that they would choose my book to make those connections is absolutely thrilling."
 
For the fifth year in a row, Target continues its generous sponsorship of "Michigan Reads!," with additional contributions from the Library of Michigan Foundation, Sleeping Bear Press and the Taubman Corporation.
 
As a result of Target's support, the Library of Michigan will provide a hardcover copy of the book and programming materials to all public libraries, elementary schools, Head Start and Michigan School Readiness programs across the state.  In addition, Scillian and Bowers will tour Michigan libraries and schools.  The "Michigan Reads!" program provides librarians, early childhood educators, parents, and caregivers with ideas to help children develop literacy skills through play-based activities.
 
Since its inception in 2004, the program aims to promote the value and benefits of reading early and often to children, to encourage family bonding through reading and to increase awareness and usage of Michigan's libraries as excellent resources for learning.  More information about "Michigan Reads!" including dates and locations of author visits and materials for parents, teachers and caregivers is available at www.michigan.gov/michiganreads.
 
An agency of the Michigan Department of Education, the Library of Michigan is dedicated to promoting, advocating, and consistently working to achieve the highest level of library service to the State of Michigan, its government, its libraries and its residents.  Library of Michigan also continues to seek ways to promote literacy and share important resources statewide via the Michigan eLibrary, available at www.mel.org .