October 3, 2023

NPL and NPLF Announce New Puppet Show Featuring the Work of Kate DiCamillo

Kate Di Camillo In Conversation with Ann Patchett and
Wishing Chair Productions Premiere La, La, La on Nov. 4

 By Ed Brown


NASHVILLE, Tenn. –Nashville Public Library and the Nashville Public Library Foundation are proud host a free event honoring award-winning and “New York Times” best-selling author, Kate DiCamillo, as the 2023 Literary Award winner.

DiCamillo’s impressive collection of children’s literature is impactful for readers of all ages, which makes her the ideal recipient for this award, sponsored by UBS and Sandra Schatten Foundation. She will be celebrated during a Public Lecture featuring a conversation with Nashville’s own Ann Patchett, sponsored by Dollar General, alongside a Wishing Chair Productions Puppet Show Premiere.

Nashville Public Library Foundation, with the support of the Bentley Family has sponsored the creation of the new puppet show, based on the book, “La, La, La” by DiCamillo and illustrated by Jaime Kim. Going forward, the puppet show will be included in the Wishing Chair Productions repertoire for all of Nashville to enjoy for years to come.

“Through the actions of a little girl, ‘La La La’ transcends the language barrier and reveals our basic human desire to find connection. I’m excited for audiences to discover the common thread as she experiences a whirlwind of emotions on her journey,” Wishing Chair Productions Program Manager Bret Wilson said.

The community will hear from DiCamillo during the free Public Lecture on Saturday, Nov. 4 at 10 a.m. at Martin Luther King Jr. High School. To include and engage with Kate’s biggest fans, her remarks are planned as a conversation with Ann Patchett and select Nashville schoolchildren, followed by NPL’s own Wishing Chair Productions premiere of its new puppet show, “La, La, La.”

“It is a true delight to welcome an author whose accomplishments are matched by her generosity,” Public Library Foundation President Shawn Bakker said. “Not only has Ms. DiCamillo donated the rights to her book for the use of the puppet show, but she has declined an honorarium for the Literary Award. Instead, at her request, Nashville Public Library Foundation will help build the personal libraries of Nashville’s children.”

Parnassus Books, along with Ms. DiCamillo’s publisher, Candlewick Press, extended a special rate on the purchase of several titles and through networks established by Limitless Libraries, NPLF will distribute nearly 10,000 books to MNPS school children and NPL’s young patrons.  

“We are very serious about good stewardship of the gifts entrusted to the Foundation and are thrilled that, this year, an even bigger segment of Literary Award Weekend proceeds will directly support our beloved Nashville Public Library,” Bakker said.

The Literary Award Gala takes place at NPL’s Main Library on the evening of Saturday, Nov. 4.  The Gala is presented by Amazon and James Stephen Turner Family Foundation, and co-chaired by Cassidy and Dierks Bentley, Johari and Lonnell Matthews, and Kristin and Carter Paine. This event will raise funds for Nashville Public Library.

The Public Lecture is family-friendly and free to the public, but registration is required. Free tickets may be reserved at nplf.org/events/public-lecture. Tickets for the Gala are available now at nplf.org/events/literary-award-weekend. For more information on NPLF or to make a gift, visit nplf.org.

About the 2023 Literary Award Honoree Kate DiCamillo

Kate DiCamillo is an American children’s fiction author. She has published over 25 novels, including “Because of Winn-Dixie,”The Tiger Rising,” “The Tale of Despereaux,”The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane,”The Magician’s Elephant,” the “Mercy Watsonseries, and “Flora & Ulysses.” Her books have sold around 37 million copies. Four have been developed into films and two have been adapted into musical settings. Her works have won various awards; “The Tale of Despereaux” and “Flora & Ulysses” won the Newbery Medal, making DiCamillo one of six authors to have won two Newbery Medals. From 2014 to 2015 DiCamillo was the American National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. Her upcoming novel, “The Puppets of Spelhorst,” will be published in October 2023.

About Nashville Public Library

With more than two million books, movies, and music items to choose from — plus great programming and resources to improve early and adult literacy, STEAM, ESL, and other key skills — NPL is Nashville’s gateway to some of the best resources our city has to offer. Every year, across our 21-location system, thousands of visitors discover how our library lives up to our philosophy: at NPL, books are only half the story.

About the Nashville Public Library Foundation

The Nashville Public Library Foundation, founded in 1997, is a 501(c)3 organization, supporting and fundraising for Nashville Public Library. The Library depends on public funding to support operations and maintenance; however, it thrives because of private contributions. NPLF has raised over $68 million to advance the impact of NPL programs and initiatives, as well as extend the reach and essential nature of NPL. Gifts to NPLF open a world of opportunity and access for people of all ages through investment in library resources that build literacy, digital skills, workforce readiness, lifelong learning, and ultimately, create better lives. 


Literary Award Weekend Events presented by UBS and Sandra Schatten Foundation

Public Lecture and Puppet Show Premiere

Free and open to the public, advanced reservation required

Saturday, Nov. 4 at 10 a.m.

Martin Luther King Jr. High School, 613 17th Ave. N., Nashville, Tenn. 37203

Sponsored by Dollar General

Puppet Show Sponsored by The Bentley Family

Literary Award Gala
Saturday, Nov. 4 at 6:30 p.m.

Nashville Public Library Main Branch, 615 Church St., Nashville, Tenn. 37219

Sponsored by Amazon and James Stephen Turner Family Foundation

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