Article and Photos by Grace Bennett
I asked the three main organizers of the event to reminisce about their greatest surprises, accomplishments, challenges–and hopes for next year’s Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival.
Janine Marino, Creative Director, interviewed various authors throughout the day, and said she discovered that “they actually enjoy being there as much as the kids do. They all said they loved meeting their favorite book authors as much as the children love meeting them!”
Marino described Greeley and Skidmore grad Sophie Mendleson’s downtown mural, “Where the Characters Are” as perhaps this year’s greatest accomplishment.
“It’s a gorgeous reminder of a great day that we can enjoy all year long .”
The biggest surprise may have been how smoothly the day actually went. Madeline Finesmith, assistant executive director reminisced: “With so many amazing authors and sponsors, we had to shuffle and reshuffle before we could put everything together to create great flow, presence, and shade for the authors sitting at their tables for six hours.”
Naturally, it was all worth it, as executive director Dawn Evans Greenberg noted: “Creating this much fun and joy is addictive.” Greenberg said she hopes to introduce ever more young teen books and perhaps adult books too next year. At one point she looked down from St. Mary’s “on thousands of smiling people, arms full of books, excitedly engaging with authors–and thought: “How could we have created this? And can we do it again?” Haven’t the slightest doubt, ladies. So, dear Reader, save the date for the third annual Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival: October 3, 2015.
Grace Bennett is the Publisher and Editor of The Inside Press, Inc. She has invited Greenberg to guest edit a special section about the festival in the next fall edition of Inside Chappaqua Magazine.