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2021 Sunshine State Book Festival

January 30 – June 30, 2021

Bringing Readers and Writers Together – Digitally

Welcome to an area specially set aside for authors of children’s books. The “booths” are grouped by audience age: Children’s Picture Books, Chapter Books, and Middle Grade Readers.

As you scroll down the page, imagine you are strolling the aisle of our festival. Click on an author’s video to play it. Browse a book by clicking on its cover. Then click on Amazon’s “Look inside” feature.

Picture Books

Meet J.L. Adel

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J. L. Adel draws from a deep well of love, filled with sweet memories of her and her husband's childhoods and those with her children. The 4 Little Bears characters are her beloved children who pretend to be bears. The Lil Ni-Night Treasures© collection, classic tales created in pen/ink and watercolor, comprise twelve books that span each month of the year. Come wander with the 4 Little Bears and discover family, friends and TRUE love! Click to view Author’s website

Pearls of Love Mr. Bluebird

Meet Jenifer Peters Dearinger

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Jenifer Peters Dearinger is a children’s book author and illustrator. Dearinger is always curious and looks everywhere for things that inspire her writing and drawing. Her first book is about the exciting adventures of a family of crows and beautiful crystals; her second book is about awesome things to do with pumpkins; and her third book is about a bear that tries on lots of different colors. Inspiration is everywhere! Stay curious, my friends! Click to view Author’s website

Journey To Moose's Fireball Tennis What Does Brown Bear Want? A Stone's Crow Rainbow Ballerina Preposterous Pumpkins Spotted Fish and Striped Fish

Meet Rosemarie Dinklage

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Rosemarie Dinklage was born in Reppen, Germany, a city east of Berlin. When the Russian soldiers invaded Germany in 1945, her family fled toward the west. She was six. In 1960, at age twenty-two, she went to New York to improve her English and see America. She received a B.A. and M.A. and, upon her husband’s death, moved to Gainesville to obtain a Ph.D. She worked as a school psychologist for many years before retiring.  

My Name is Schnuckiputz: Just Call Me Schnucki, The Picture Book Me Llamo Schnuckiputz: Llá mame Schnucki American and German Children's Perceptions of War and Peace My Name is Schnuckiputz: Just Call Me Schnucki, The Reader

Meet Melinda Taliancich Falgoust

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Melinda Falgoust is an internationally award-winning author, illustrator,and working actor on both stage and screen. Her writing has appeared inReader’s Digest, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Writers' Journal, and with Harlequin Books. Other titles have garnered awards and accolades from the New York Book Festival, the Oshima Museum of Picture Books’ International Picture Book Competition, and the Green Book Festival. Recently, she was recognized as a finalist in the Clive Cussler Adventure Writer’s Competition. Click to view Author’s website

Ten Little Crawfish Her Royal Majesty, the Superhero Bride of Frankenstein The Eye of the Storm Footprints Lousy Liver The Gubbins Club: The Legend of Charlie's Gold

Meet Alycin Hayes

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Alycin Hayes is an author, poet, filmmaker, and songwriter—a “Renaissance woman”—from Canada. She has spent most of her life adventuring around the world. Her writings on animal behavior have been published internationally. Milo and the Mustang is her first children's book. Currently she is working on a new book about her travels overland and by dugout canoe from Canada to Brazil. Click to view Author’s website

Milo and The Mustang

Meet Vallean Jackson

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Vallean Jackson was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. She graduated from Jacksonville State University with a major in print journalism and a minor in biology. As a journalist, she has written for various publications. She says, “I love being a journalist just as much as I love writing books.” Her genres of books include anthologies, romance, urban fiction, some horror, and recently children’s literature. Click to view Author’s website

Adventures With Liyah presents: Colors At First Sight

Meet Carrie Koontz

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Carrie Koontz and illustrator Amy Swen are teachers in Florida who have a heart for character education. Koontz’s work with students in her second grade classroom inspired her to write Scooter and the Muttering Monster: Overcoming Negative Thoughts. She lives in Florida with her husband, Mr. Ben, and her dog, Samson. Swen, along with her passion for teaching, loves to draw and paint. She lives in Florida with her husband and three cats. Click to view Author’s website

Scooter and the Muttering Monster

Meet Bonnie T. Ogle

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Bonnie T. Ogle, a retired public-school teacher, teaches children’s classes at the Florida Museum of Natural History. She is a volunteer interpreter at the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera. Memberships include Word Weavers International, The Writers Alliance of Gainesville, and lifetime memberships in Phi Kappa Phi Educational Honor Society and Girl Scouts of the USA. Her books include I Pledge Allegiance: With the Pledge Rap, The Sounds and Smells of Christmas, and Arthur the Arthropod. Click to view Author’s website

I Pledge Allegiance Sounds and Smells of Christmas Arthur the Arthropod Freaky Frogs

Meet Carrie Johnson Parker-Warren

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Carrie Johnson Parker-Warren is the author of several memoirs: Carrie’s Memories, Things My Mama Used to Say, and The Johnson-Morgan Family Memories. Her latest endeavor is Matriarchs and Matrons: Honoring Mothers and Daughters. Parker has strong roots in North Central Florida and has spent most of her adult life in Gainesville. When not busy writing or volunteering in one of many community organizations, she loves to play tennis, read, decorate, and hunt for antiques. Click to view Author’s website

Spotted Fish and Striped Fish

Meet Karen White Porter

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Karen White Porter, M.Ed., NBCT, is an educator, who believes emotional intelligence is important for children’s learning and development. Her students in Scotland, China, and the USA have inspired her to write about emotions. She writes the Emotatude book series to help children deal with feelings in concrete terms. Her recent book Emotional Mandalas artistically represents different emotions. Her earlier works deal with separate emotions such as fear, love, joy, grief, compassion, frustration, and anger. Click to view Author’s website

Emotion Mandalas: Finding Feelings Through Art How Gregory Deals with a Case of Grief Compassion: Making the World Better with the Compassion Emotatude Joy Springs Forth: A Guide to Finding Joy Anne and Amy's Anger: How to Find Your Power in the Midst of Anger What to do When you Get the Bejeebers Scared Out of You The Secret of Warm Fuzzies Fear Walking Crandle's Crazy Conniption Fit
Children’s Chapter Books

Meet J. Nishida

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J. Nishida has been, in her time, a secondary school English teacher, a college writing and ESL teacher, a library story lady, an editor, and a mother. She received her MA in English with a specialization in Children’s Literature and an EDS in Secondary School Reading from the University of Florida, with an ESL certificate from UNF. She also writes poetry and has been twice published in the Writers Alliance of Gainesville’s Bacopa Literary Review.  

Ana & Shea and the Quest for the Magic Stone Through Waka


Middle Grade Readers

Meet Barbara Ann Bockman

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Barbara Bockman is an author of picture books for young children and middle grade novels for older children. Her love of stories began long before she learned to read. Her imagination was sparked when she listened to her mother tell fairy tales and family stories. She hopes you find inspiration in her stories. Click to view Author’s website

The Mystery of Broken Spur Ranch Mrs. Betsy Fieldmouse Borrows an Egg BonBon Fantastic Flight Colby Mouse's Christmas Gift Han and the Mysterious Pearl Arctic Danger

Meet John Hope

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John Hope is an award-winning author of short story, middle grade fiction, and young adult fiction. His work appears in science fiction/fantasy anthologies and multiple collections. He conducts workshops and school visits on a regular basis, providing entertaining and educational presentations to inspire writers of all ages. Hope, a native Floridian, loves to travel with his wife and two kids and has run over 35,000 miles in various races across the country. Click to view Author’s website

Father's Violin Silencing Sharks No Good Fairy Tales, the Sequel Colby in the Crosshairs Secret Adventures of Foxfire: Busting Walls Pankyland Pankyland 2: The Movie Pankyland 3: Be Little World
Fiction (general)

Meet Terri Peel Bechtold

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Terri Peel Bechtold, mother of the daughters in For Infinity and Beyond, always remembers to be grateful for the blessings bestowed upon her family. She enjoys time spent with family and her walks on the beach, her sources of creative inspiration. Every day she tells her beautiful daughters how much they are loved For Infinity and Beyond! She hopes you cherish this story of love and gratitude and make it part of your family traditions. Click to view Author’s website

For Infinity and Beyond

The 2021 Sunshine State Book Festival

was made possible with the assistance of these gracious sponsors:

Shea’s Glass and The Opinionated Ladies Book Club.

Please consider becoming one of our corporate sponsors. Download an information packet.

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