Over 80 Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators to Participate
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Authors Covering Multiple Genres and Reading Levels, Author Readings, Illustrator Demos, Book Signings, Hudson Valley Llamas, Local Food Vendors and The Great Chappaqua Bake Sale
More than 80 renowned children’s book authors and illustrators will be participating in the second annual Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival (CCBF), recently voted “Best Bookworm Event” by Westchester Magazine. The Festival will take place on Saturday, September 27, at Robert Bell Middle School in Chappaqua, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Books will be available for sale, local food vendors from around the region will offer great eats, and the 5th Annual Great Chappaqua Bake Sale will be selling baked treats and raffle tickets to benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign to end childhood hunger. Admission and parking are free, and the event is rain or shine.
“At our inaugural Festival last year, more than 4,000 visitors had the chance to talk to and have their books signed by their favorite children’s authors and illustrators,” said Dawn Greenberg, executive director of the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival. “We hope even more visitors discover us this year. Reading is the number one predictor of a child’s success–our goal is to get Westchester reading, and to have fun doing it!”
This year’s authors and illustrators include many who participated last year, such as Alyssa Capucilli (Biscuit), Bruce Degen (Magic School Bus series illustrator), Dan Greenburg (The Zack Files) J.C. Greenburg (Andrew Lost series), Victoria Kann (Pinkalicious), Gail Carson Levine (Ella Enchanted), Wendell Minor (Galapagos George illustrator), Jerry Pinkney (The Tortoise and the Hare illustrator), Jean Van Leeuwen (Oliver and Amanda Pig series) and Bernard Most (How Big Were the Dinosaurs? ). New authors/illustrators this year include Christopher Healy (Hero’s Guide trilogy), Doreen Rappaport (Helen’s Big World), Steve Sheinkin (The Notorious Benedict Arnold), Carol Weston (Ava and Pip) and Jacqueline Weitzman (You Can’t Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum), among others. A complete list of CCBF authors/illustrators can be found at http://www.ccbfestival.org/authors/.
In addition to book signings, author readings and illustrator demonstrations, families will have the chance to participate in a variety of activities such as gymnastics with Jodi’s Gym. Here are more examples of additional sponsors and the activities they have planned:
o GaGa, life-size games and airbrush tattoos courtesy of Kiwi Country Day Camp
o a collage activity with internationally-acclaimed mixed media collage artist Michael Albert, courtesy of the Chappaqua Learning Center
o science activities with science author Vicki Cobb
o music with children’s entertainer Miss Rhea
o sensory play with WeeZee – The Science of Play
o soap making with Kensico Soap Bar in Thornwood
o costumed character appearances sponsored by Breeze
o live llamas from Hudson Valley Llamas
Food available for purchase will include BBQ from Chappaqua’s Le Jardin du Roi, pizza, popcorn and hot dogs from Bellizzi in Mt. Kisco and wraps, sandwiches and salads from Village Social in Mt. Kisco.
CCBF is a not-for-profit volunteer organization dedicated to promoting literacy and community. Major sponsors of this year’s Festival include Kiwi Country Day Camp, Chappaqua Learning Center, Regeneron, Breeze Gifts, Cartwright and Daughters Tent and Party and Booktopia Fairs, with in-kind donations from DDR Public Relations and Inside Chappaqua.
Local sweets shop Hall of Scoops crafted two new flavors to benefit CCBF – Pinkalicious (created with the permission of and guidance from Pinkalicious author Victoria Kann) and Rocky Read, to be sold at Hall of Scoops in the month of September, with a portion of the proceeds going to the CCBF. Those who visit Hall of Scoops should also check out the full-wall mural on the south side of the building, generously painted by Chappaqua artist Sophie Mendelson. The mural is dedicated to CCBF, and depicts scenes from the Book Festival and around Chappaqua.
CCBF is sponsoring JCY-Westchester Community Partners, which develops intergenerational programs to meet the literacy needs of children in Westchester communities such as Yonkers, Mount Vernon and Elmsford. CCBF Executive Director Greenberg said, “We wanted to be able to support and promote literacy for families that don’t have the resources of a town like Chappaqua.” JCY-WCP will have a booth at the festival with Clifford the Dog, where visitors can learn about JCY-WCP’s various literacy programs. “We will also be supporting JCY-WCP year-round, including sending a group to their Summer Reading Program at Yonkers Riverfront Library,” said Greenberg.
This year’s Book Festival poster was designed by award-winning author/illustrator Peter Sís, a resident of Hastings-on-Hudson. Sís’s design depicts a child being taken on a journey with the help of a book-shaped flying machine.
Vicki Cobb, author of science books for children, said of last year’s Festival, “On beautiful autumn afternoons, when the sun is shining and the leaves are glowing with color, people crave gatherings like this – an excuse to connect with people, ideas, beauty…All these events embody the individual’s need to know that, yes, there is a person behind a creative work, someone who has touched me or touched his/her pen to a beautiful book.”
CCBF is the only children’s book festival in Westchester County and was inspired by Book Day at Sunnyside, which was discontinued in 2012 after 15 years. CCBF will take place at the Robert Bell Middle School, directly across the street from the Chappaqua train station (a 50-minute train ride from Grand Central Terminal). Event parking is free at the Chappaqua train station. The Festival is rain or shine. For more information, (and for the most up to date list of participating sponsors), visit www.ccbfestival.org or follow the CCBF at www.facebook.com/chappaquachildrensbookfestival.