Little Annie looked at me across the table, her big brown eyes dancing. With a flick of my Sharpie, I finished signing a copy of Virginia Hamilton: America’s Storyteller for Annie. She took the book, her eyes even wider, thanked me, and then held it close to her, cradling it in her arms. A cherished gift for her.
And for me.
Book festivals allow these kinds of connections between reader and book creators. They provide the opportunity for attendees to meet their favorite authors and illustrators, and to purchase books and have them personally signed. These events also offer writers and artists to meet their fans and to talk about their work.
There are hundreds of literary festivals occurring in the United States annually. But did you know that there are many that cater to children and families?
As the founder of Claire’s Day, I thought I’d share other festivals (for the remainder of this year) that focus on children’s book authors and illustrators.
This partial listing serves as a resource for educators, media specialists and parents, as well as authors and illustrators!
The 17th annual Claire’s Day has three event dates this year, the first three Saturdays in May. A highlight of each event is the C.A.R.E. Awards, given to children nominated as being the most improved readers in their schools. Event includes school visits and fun Claire’s Night! www.clairesday.org
May 9: The Hudson Children’s Book Festival was established in 2009, and this year the featured author is none other than Kwame Alexander. https://hudsonchildrensbookfestival.com/
May 19: Children’s Festival of Reading in Knoxville, Tennessee offers storytelling, cuddly characters, science fun, and of course, authors and illustrators. This year Linda Sue Park and Eric Litwin are the featured authors. http://www.knoxlib.org/calendar-programs/childrens-festival-reading-2018
September 29: Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival features 90, count them, 90 children’s book authors and illustrators! To learn more, visit http://www.ccbfestival.org/
October 12-14 Sheboygan Children’s Book Festival’s theme this year is Here’s an Idea! The 9th annual event includes school visits and a two-day festival. http://www.sheboyganchildrensbookfestival.org/
November 3: Rochester Children’s Book Festival is still working on their invitation-only author list, but they’ve had incredible lineups in the past. To get updates, visit https://www.rcbfestival.com/
For a complete listing, I’d like to credit Laurie Renaud, a member of KidLit 411. Check it out: https://www.facebook.com/groups/KIDLIT411/permalink/2162580407290904/