Dianna Hutts Aston

Children’s author Dianna Hutts Aston of Houston will star in the Dogwood Literacy Festival at the library Friday and Saturday.

Join the United Way and the Palestine Library in celebrating one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind and literacy this Saturday.

“For this year’s Dogwood Children’s Literacy & Arts Festival, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing,” said Tarah Thompson, director of the United Way of East Central Texas. “We are excited that Dianne Hutts Aston, who wrote “The Moon over Star” a book about the moon landing, will be the featured author for this year's dinner event.”

The author dinner, “Dinner with Dianna” will take place at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Palestine Public Library.

Aston, 54, specializes in children's books on science and nature. She attended the University of Houston to study journalism and political science. She has gained acclaim in literary and science circles for her poetic style.

“The Moon over Star” is a book about a little girl named Mae, watching the moon landing on television with her family on July 20 in 1969. She hopes that, one day, she will also go there.

“It's exciting that this book will highlight the 50th anniversary of the moon landing,” Thompson said. “We hope each child leaves the festival with a love of literacy, and are inspired to shoot for the moon.”

The Moon over Star is a Coretta Scott King awarded book, as well as 2009’s Bank Street’s Best Books of the Year, and The Great Lakes Great Books Award nominee in 2011.

The book was chosen by Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama to read to children in 2009 at Capital City Public Charter School in Washington D.C.

In 2011, astronaut Leland Melvin read “The Moon over Star” to children at Ferebee-Hope Community School in Washington D.C. for a partnership with “Reading is Fundamental,” and Black History Month.

Attendees will have dinner with the author, listen to a live reading, and have a Q&A with her, all before leaving with an autographed copy of her book.

Tickets to “Dinner with Dianna” are $15. They're on sale at The Palestine Public Library, as well as Commercial Bank of Texas.

The Learning Festival is scheduled for the next day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Palestine Public Library.

This year's festival will feature two other published authors: Kat Kronenberg, author of “Dream Big;” and Claudia Villarreal, author of “The Bully who Learned to Love.”

All three of the authors will perform dramatic readings of their own books. “These three authors will be available for autographs in the “To the Moon” bus from Austin, a renovated and redesigned school bus.

The United Way thanks the Palestine Public Library, the City of Palestine, Palestine Regional Medical Center, Commercial Bank of Texas, and Palestine Heat & Air for helping make the event successful.