Award-Winning Illustrator Among Guests at 23rd Annual Literature Festival

NORFOLK — For Ard Hoyt, illustrations are a way to go anywhere in the world without even crossing the street.

From a young age, award-winning illustrator Ard Hoyt knew he wanted to illustrate children’s books, and on Saturday morning Hoyt shared his passion at the 23rd Annual Literature Festival.

“I think there’s lots of kids in the world who are picture-oriented. Lots of kids like myself. I went to the library always looking for books with pictures, and it took a really good English teacher to get me over it. I love books with words now just as much, but I think kids initially, that moment of going someplace in a story book, traveling some place you’ve never been, or going some place that really doesn’t exist except in your imagination is so wonderful, and I think pictures are a great vehicle for that.”

Hoyt has illustrated over 25 children books in his career, and says it’s important for kids to realize they can accomplish their dreams, too.

I think that the biggest thing is that I’m not different than anybody else…kids will often times think only certain people can make themselves into those things that they want to be, and whether you want to be a children’s book illustrator or anything you can do it. It’s going to take some hard work and it’s going to take some time and some effort, and some uncomfortable effort at times, but it’s all capable and it’s all possible, and I hope by just seeing me up there they know they can do it too.

Hoyt believes the literature festival is a great opportunity for kids and adults to meet the people behind the words and pictures.

“It’s fascinating for kids to see real people, instead of a name on a book that sounds like it could be from mars… and putting that kind of tangibility to someone who writes amazing books and can tell these stories and take these kids on great adventures–it’s inspiring.”

The 23rd Annual Literature Festival featured 2018 Golden Sower Award Nominees Miranda Paul, Jennifer Jacobson, and Gary D. Schmidt. The 24th Annual Literature Festival is scheduled for July 28 of next year.

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