CBF highlights youngsters’ right to read

The Children’s Book Fair (CBF) opens tomorrow at Helexpo in Maroussi. There will be more than 70 events relating books to other arts, exhibitions of old and new books, vintage toys, separate dedicated spaces for children and teenagers, screenings of short films, and a concert of African drums and world music at 7 p.m. on Sunday. The CBF is a new endeavor, Culture Minister Michalis Liapis noted at a press conference at the ministry on Tuesday to present the fair. More than 60 schools will take pupils to the fair, and Liapis urged all parents to bring their children along. «We want children to become part of the process of buying books. To wander around the stands, leaf through the books and experience the joy of having a new book.» The slogan of the fair is «Reading is every child’s right,» explained Catherine Velissaris, director of the National Book Center of Greece (EKEBI). The Netherlands is guest of honor at the book fair, and seven leading Dutch writers, illustrators and publishers will be there. «Dutch Treats,» an exhibition of 84 works by 13 Dutch illustrators, will be on display at their national stand. In addition to publishers, the New Acropolis Museum, the Museum of Greek Children’s Art and the Olympia International Film Festival will also have stands at the fair. The CBF ( opens officially at 11.30 a.m. tomorrow and runs to February 4. It is organized by the Culture Ministry and EKEBI. It will be open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (closing 4 p.m. Monday). Admission to the fair and all events is free. During the fair a minibus will run from Doukissis Plakentias metro station via the OAKA car park to Helexpo (39 Kifissias, Maroussi). New president for EKEBI The same press conference started with a surprise when the minister introduced the new EKEBI president, Petros Markaris. «I don’t need to say much about Mr Markaris,» said Liapis. «You all know him. We have all read him. And it is a great honor that he has accepted the offer to become president of EKEBI.» A translator, novelist, playwright and author of screenplays for cinema and television, Markaris is probably best known for his detective series featuring the hard-boiled murder squad chief Inspector Haritos. Two of those books, «Nychterino deltio» (The Late-night News) and «Amyna zonis» (Zone Defense), have been translated into English for Harvill by David Connolly. Markaris paid tribute to his predecessor Dimitris Nollas and to EKEBI director Catherine Velissaris. And, yes, he told Kathimerini English Edition, he will find time to write and perform his new duties.