The Bexley Public Library will launch a new event this fall with a visit from Jerry Pinkney, Caldecott Medal-winning children's book illustrator.

Pinkney will be the featured speaker for the library's first Family Author Visit at 2 p.m. Oct. 27 in the library's auditorium, 2411 E. Main St.

Julie Scordato, the library's youth-services manager, said the Family Author Visit is an addition to the Bexley Community Author Series. The presentation, she said, is designed to complement the library's annual spring event that has brought Pulitzer Prize winners Colson Whitehead, Elizabeth Strout and Richard Ford to Bexley over the past three years.

Scordato said she got the idea after author/illustrator Bryan Collier's February 2018 visit for the 30th annual Caldecott Celebration drew more than 100 people to the library. Scordato said she and Ken Flower, the library's former director of advancement and community relations, brainstormed about an event that could generate the same kind of enthusiasm.

"We bandied about an anchoring author event that would bring authors that have a legacy of work," Scordato said. "The fall just made sense with the school year (underway)."

In addition to the Caldecott Medal and five Caldecott Honors, Pinkney has won five Coretta Scott King Awards, five New York Times Ten Best Illustrated Awards, the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award and the Society of Illustrators' Original Art Show Lifetime Achievement Award. Recently installed as a member of the National Council of the Arts and inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he has also served on the U.S. Postal Service Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee.

His artwork has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the country, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Schomburg Center and the Norman Rockwell Museum. Pinkney and his wife, author Gloria Jean Pinkney, live in Westchester County, New York.

Pinkney's illustrated books span decades, from 1971 release, "The Planet of Junior Brown," by the late Ohio author Virginia Hamilton to the soon-to-be-released "A Place to Land." Featuring Pinkney's illustrations with text by author Barry Wittenstein, "A Place to Land" chronicles how Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his "I Have a Dream" speech for the 1963 March on Washington.

Following his presentation at the library, Pinkney is scheduled to visit the Bexley City Schools on Oct. 28 and spend time with teachers and students in large and small groups.

"We wanted to have a day for the community," Scordato said, "and we wanted him to have time with a variety of students."

Depending on the response this year, Scordato said, the Family Author Visit program may become an annual event.

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