Several events celebrate Leo Politi centennial

The Fresno Bee

10/03/08 00:00:00

The legacy of Leo Politi, a Fresno native and award-winning illustrator and author, is being celebrated in several events marking the centennial of his birth.

A "grand celebration" will be 1-4 p.m. Sunday at the Politi Branch Library, First Street and Bullard Avenue. Guests will include Politi's son and daughter and his biographer, Ann Stalcup. The event will include remarks and remembrances as well as crafts and stories for children. For details: (559) 461-6450.

Politi, born Nov. 21, 1908, was a prolific artist and writer. In 1950, he won the Caldecott Medal -- the prestigious award presented each year to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children -- for "Song of the Swallows," based on the birds of San Juan Capistrano. Politi also wrote books for adults and children, chronicling old Los Angeles neighborhoods. Politi died in Los Angeles in 1996 at age 87.

Other events this year are:

Saturday -- A free multicultural workshop, based on Politi's legacy and the folklore tradition of the Day of the Dead, will be offered to teachers, library staff and literacy advocates at the Arte Américas cultural arts center, 1630 N. Van Ness Ave., 1-4 p.m. Reservations: (559) 431-3110 or (559) 266-2623.

Oct. 18 -- A Politi display of books and post cards will be part of the Heritage Fresno's Annual Book Fair, noon-5 p.m., at Arte Américas.

Nov. 22 -- A Politi birthday party for prekindergarten children to sixth- graders at the Politi library. Sign-ups are requested by calling (559) 461-6450.

Dec. 15 & 17 -- A Christmas celebration inspired by Politi's book, "Pedro: The Angel of Olvera Street," at the Politi library. On Dec. 15, designing Christmas cards, for kindergartners-through sixth-graders, 3:30-4:30 p.m. On Dec. 17, preschool story time, 10:30-11:15 a.m.