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Imagination Library Carnival offers fun in reading education for kids of all ages

Children’s author, Carmen Agra Deedy, poses with a couple young fans.
Children’s author, Carmen Agra Deedy, poses with a couple young fans.

By Marlana Ward

Kids and adults alike were treated to a world of fun and art as the third annual Imagination Library Carnival took place on Tuesday, August 30th at the Johnson County Public Library. The annual event, which raises funds for the Imagination Library Program, is always a big hit with elementary age students. With bounce houses, crafts, games, story times, and other fun activities, the carnival has something of interest for all children.
Each year, the Imagination Library Board brings a featured children’s author to Mountain City to regale audiences with short stories and anecdotes of days gone by. This year’s featured author was Carmen Agra Deedy. She has authored a variety of children’s books and is known nationwide for her talented storytelling being featured on nationally syndicated programs such as All Things Considered on NPR.
Heritage Hall echoed with roars of laughter as Deedy brought her storytelling talent to the local stage for five performances over two days. Children and parents alike were enthralled as Deedy shared stories of growing up in Cuba and the beginning of her school days in Decatur, Georgia. Being raised in a southern town, Deedy could see the charm that Mountain City holds for those who visit. “Mountain City is a rarity; a place that still cares for, and about, its own,” Deedy shared of her experience. “After only three days among the organizers, school children, business owners, and ordinary folk, I returned to my own home in Atlanta with an abiding respect for Mountain City and its extraordinary people. I will count the days until I can return.”
As Tuesday afternoon approached, canopies were raised and local volunteers came together to provide the children of Johnson County with an afternoon of fun and learning. Games were played, faces painted, and stories were told to all the eager children that filled the library property. “The Imagination Library Board, and The Friends of the Johnson County Public Library put a lot of work into these carnivals,” explained Library Director Linda Icenhour. “It takes a lot of planning and hard work to put one these together and we have such an awesome bunch of people willing to donate their time and their sweat for the children of Johnson County.”
For the rest of the story pick up a copy of this week’s Tomahawk.