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John Faulkner and Joyce Faulkner with DARNEISHA F. (DAR) AIRHART

Children’s Category

Louder and Funnier by Darneisha F. (Dar) Airhart Is about Alfonso Trent, a piano player and band leader from Fort Smith, Arkansas. It won the 2023 TAZ award for children’s books. The title of the book comes from a song Trent’s group played.

The book tells children about Trent’s success and continued attachment to Fort Smith

throughout his life. It is told in poetry to convey the rhythm of the music.

Information and photos were gathered from the Historical Society of Fort Smith headed by Sherry Toliver for use in the book. Airhart interviewed family members and used the local library for additional information.

By Nadia Lougin

Illustrator Nadia Lougin did an excellent job of the drawings and paintings for the book. They

make it come alive along with Airhart’s words. The entire book is a colorful experience for


It’s a fun book to share with a child and rekindle some of Fort Smith’s history.

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