Tag Archive for Hudson Children’s Book Festival

My Year of Children’s Book Festivals

When it comes to children’s book festivals, this is my year for saying yes.

Which is not to diminish in any way my appreciation for being asked. There can be no “yes” until somebody extends the invitation. And for that I am grateful.

Even so, book festivals take me away from home, away from family, so it’s taken some time for me to embrace the idea of them. I mean, who is going to cut the lawn? Who is going to manage the baseball team? How can I sit around and do nothing when I am working at a book festival?

Here’s my schedule for the coming year. If you live nearby to any of these locations, come, please, and say hello. Or make a little trip — you won’t regret it. If you’ve never been to a children’s book festival before, you really should. Bring the kids. It’s always an inspiring scene.

Think of all the time most of us spend driving our children to various activities. Soccer practice, track, sleepovers, bowling parties, etc. Why not spend an afternoon sharing the excitement of books with your children? And in doing so, saying, “This matters, this is important, this is fun. Books, reading, the arts.”

 

HUDSON CHILDREN’S BOOK FESTIVAL

HCBF_logo_cmykLove the people who put this one together. From the website: “The Hudson Children’s Book Festival, established in 2009, strives to create, sustain, and nurture a culture of literacy in partnership with our community and schools. This free, public event fosters a love of reading as families meet and greet world-class creators of books for children of all ages.” May 2, Saturday. 

 

THOUSAND ISLAND’S BOOK FESTIVAL

I was able to travel up to this area last year and fell in love with it (yes, I was not there during the winter-tundra season). I got invited to this small, intimate festival and I’m looking forward to it. June 6, Saturday.

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PRINCETON CHILDREN’S BOOK FESTIVAL

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Boy, I was so happy to be invited to this one, just a legendary festival smack in the middle of a great town. This will be my second time (it’s always nice to be invited back!). Such a cool vibe — and the after-party was good, too. A backyard, good food, and a fire: my kind of jam. September 19, Saturday.

 

WARWICK CHILDREN’S BOOK FESTIVAL

Welcome2-300x225A new one on me! I’m looking forward to checking it out, making new connections. At this point, I’m not even exactly sure how to get there. No worries, I’ll bring an audiotape in the car and enjoy the ride. September 26, Saturday.

 

 

 

CHAPPAQUA CHILDREN’S BOOK FESTIVAL

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This festival began as the beloved “Children’s Book Day” Festival and it used to take place at Washington Irving’s “Sunnyside” along the Hudson River. Historic and beautiful. It’s since been moved, with new organizers, but the essence is still there. October 3, Saturday.

 

bff036d2d5e67a5efad6f19dccfc3337ROCHESTER BOOK FESTIVAL

This one has come to feel like a true family affair, the rare festival where the authors and illustrators and organizers all come together to hang out, lift a glass, and share a laugh. This will be my third time. I feel fortunate to be a part of it, because every year I am reminded of what it means to be a children’s author, the privilege, the responsibility, and the joy. November 7, Saturday.

 

Hudson Children’s Book Festival: May 3, 2014

Like the song goes . . .

“It’s the most, happiest time of the year!”

Truly a wonderful event, with just a staggering list of talented authors and illustrators, new faces and old faces and — best of all — young faces.

Eager faces. Kids who are excited about books, stoked to meet “real, live” authors, to have a book signed, to have that great literary moment.

If you’ve never gone, it’s time to straighten that out. Come to Hudson. Bring the children, from picture book readers to your outwardly cynical, eye-rolling YA book-lovers.

Celebrate what you value. Reading, books, education, fun.

Then go hang around in Hudson a little bit, eat dinner, chill. You’ll have a great day, promise.

Here’s the link, go experience the awe.

And then come. Stop with the excuses. Everybody is busy. There’s a million reasons why not to go. But this is “make a statement” day. This is “put your house in order” day. This is” show ’em what you think is important” day. This is “go have a great time, together, as a family” day, centered around books and a lifelong passion for reading.

It’s a beautiful thing. I’m blessed to be a small part of it. You can be, too. Come.

Okay, here’s a partial list: Ellen Jensen Abbott, Nora Raleigh Baskin, Jennifer Berne, Ann E. Burg, Bryan Collier, Bruce Coville, Debbie Dadey, Bruce Degan, Diane deGroat, Chris Grabenstein, Ellen Hopkins, Ty Allan Jackson, Sylvie Kantorovitz, David A. Kelly, David Kirk, Ann Haywood Leal, Jeff Mack, Wendell & Florence Minor, Jane O’Connor, JAMES PRELLER (!), April Jones Prince, Hudson Talbott, Mark Teague, Jane Yolen, Michelle Zink, and many more! And by that I mean, lots more. Seriously, lots.

COMING MAY 1st: “The 2nd Annual Hudson Children’s Book Festival” — Highly Recommended!

I don’t know how to say this except for . . .

You should go. YOU should go. You SHOULD go. Really, you should go.

It’s a great event. And an absolute privilege that it’s up in our neck of the woods (in my case, maybe the collarbone). If you value reading, if you want to send that message loud and clear to your children, if you want to make that reading/writing connection, if you want to have fun . . . come, come, come. Where and when else in your entire life do you get this opportunity?

It’s FREE. There will be more than 100 authors and illustrators — and not just the hacks! We’re talking hugely popular folks, rising up-and-comers, cagey veterans, with a range of titles of interest to preschoolers up to young adults.

You want names? Here’s some names: Aimee Ferris, Alan Katz, Alexandra Siy, Anita Sanchez, Ann Haywood Leal, Ann Jonas, Anne Broyles, Barbara Lehman, Bruce Hiscock, Charise Harper, Da Chen, Daniel Mahoney, Danielle Joseph, Daphne Grab, Donald Crews, Emily Arnold McCully, Eric Luper, Eric Velasquez, Eve. B. Friedman, Gail Carson Levine, Jacqueline Rogers, Jan Cheripko, Janet Lawler, Jennifer Berne, Jo Knowles, John Farrell, Kate Feiffer, Katie Davis, Kyra Teis, Karen Beil, Marc Tyler Nobelman, Mark Teague, Maryrose Wood, Megan Frazer, Melanie Hall, Michelle Knudson, MJ Caraway, Monica Wellington, NA Nelson, Nancy Castaldo, Nancy Furstinger, Neesha Meminger, Nick Bruel, Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, Pam Allyn, Peter Marino, Doreen Rappaport, Richard Michelson, Rose Kent, Seymour Simon, Siobhan Vivian, Suzanne Bloom, Sylvie Kantoroviz, Thomas Locker, and many, many more.

Seriously, it’s a staggering array of talent — with books for every kind of reader, of every age.

Do you know what else is FREE? Every kid who comes will be handed a free book, many of them signed by the authors. There are more than 2,500 books, many different titles, waiting for young readers. I spent a couple of hours signing labels the other day — WORST AUTOGRAPH EVER! Horrid southpaw scrawl, sigh.

On a personal note: We see a lot of mothers at these things. Where are the fathers? When we talk about the reading gap, and how boys are falling behind in literacy skills, how Johnny doesn’t like to read, I keep coming back to one basic thing: These boys need to see Dad reading. As fathers, it is the most powerful message about reading that we can send our children.

We open a book.

We share our enthusiasm.

We model the fine art of sitting in a chair and getting lost in a book — any book, of any kind.

We show them that reading is a Guy Thing.

So come on, dads, bring the kids to the Hudson Book Festival! Show ’em that you value reading.

ADMISSION IS FREE. FOR FULL DETAILS, CLICK LIKE YOU MEAN IT.

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If you’d like to hear me, along with event coordinator Lisa Dolan, discuss the Festival on the WAMC Roundtable Show with Sarah Laduke, click here and hear us roar!


Hudson Children’s Book Festival: May 16th

Come join us for the 1st Annual Hudson Children’s Book Festival on Saturday, May 16th. I’ll be there along with actual luminaries, such as: Donald Crews, Michelle Knudsen, Fran Manushkin, Emily Arnold McCully, Coleen Paratore, Charles Smith, Seymour Simon, Hudson Talbott — and many, many more. The event will feature the usual book signings and book buyings, but also hands-on workshops, individual author presentations, and panel discussions on a variety of topics: the creative process, female characters by female writers, reluctant readers, first amendment rights, and getting published.

I’m always discovering new authors at these events — completely amazing, talented folks whom I’ve never, ever heard of. But then: It’s not my job to keep track of this stuff. So while there are some more established names that might be more familiar, here’s a great opportunity to catch some rising stars.

A lot of people have put in a tremendous amount of work in an effort to pull this off — starting something from nothing always takes guts, and more time than you ever expected — so come on out to Hudson and lend your support. Bring the kids! Bring the grandparents! Bring the checkbook!

And please, say hello.