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Gwinnett Place hosts book event for kids

LAWRENCEVILLE - Story time won't just be held at the local library next weekend.

Kids of all ages can enjoy a good book at Gwinnett Place's 2008 Book Blast! event from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Rachel Kim from WSB-TV and Dagmar Midcap from WGCL-TV's Better Mornings will be featured guests, reading new and classic children's books to the crowd.

Book Blast!, hosted by Simon Kidgits Club, is free and open to all kids and their parents. The annual event, held in Simon Malls across the country, introduces young children to the magic of stories and books.

In time for the 2008 election season, one of the featured readers will highlight voting by reading "Vote for Me: All About Civics." Immediately afterward, the children will vote on kid-friendly topics, including whether peanut butter and jelly or cheese sandwiches are better. Official results will be available immediately after the balloting, which is expected to take place about 3:30 p.m.

"Book Blast! is an important community-wide event that is enjoyed by parents and kids alike," said Shelley Korenbrot, Director of Mall Marketing for Gwinnett Place Mall. "Children love to be read to and can learn the benefits of reading for their own enjoyment. And this year, with elections going on across the country, we thought it would be fun to show kids the importance of expressing their opinions and how it benefits our communities and our country."

All kids attending the event will receive a giveaway and activity sheet from the PBS Kids show "Franny's Feet," and the chance to win prizes.

Simon Kidgits Club members also will receive a free copy of "Come Out and Play With the Kidgits!" Children who are not yet members can join the Simon Kidgits Club at the event ($5 membership fee) and receive the new Kidgits book as well.

Kids and their parents also are encouraged to bring a slightly used or new book for donation to the Gwinnett Children's Shelter.

Families can sign up for the Kidgits Club during regular mall hours at Guest Services or online at www.simonkidgitsclub.com. Membership includes a Kidgits Club membership card and T-shirt, scheduled entertainment and activities for families, a Birthday Club (including birthday card and gift redemption certificate), unique programs and offers, discounts, and a quarterly newsletter.