A new story for your bookshelf. A photograph with your favorite author. A signed copy of a book you love. On October 5th, the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival (“CCBF”) returns to Robert E. Bell Middle School, offering area children and their parents the opportunity to meet the writers behind the most popular children’s stories and find or foster a love for reading. With a record 145 authors scheduled to attend and a wide selection of special events and activities, the 7th annual Festival is primed to build on prior years’ great success, expected to attract over 8,000 visitors.
Voted the Best Annual Festival by Westchester Magazine, the CCBF is proud to host a variety of esteemed authors in October, including big names in children’s literature such as Kate Messner, Dan Gutman, David Kirk, Padma Venkatraman, and Tiffany Jackson. A number of these authors will participate in themed panels throughout the day, offering visitors a chance to hear the voices behind their favorite stories and learn about the writing process at large. Kicking off the author panel will be a keynote address from New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka, whose more than 30 published books include the Platypus Police Squad middle school series as well as his popular graphic novel collection titled Lunch Lady.
Exciting New Panel Presentations
While visitors will have ample opportunity to meet writers and purchase books at the individual author tables, new panels will offer a deeper look into the values and objectives behind the creation of children’s literature, exploring a variety of themes and topics intended to engage both young readers and their parents. Author participants on the “Keeping it Real” panel will discuss their experiences with nonfiction writing, while those on “All the Feels” will examine how their books help children make sense of their feelings and emotions. “Girls in the World” contributors will explore how their books depict the empowerment and growth of young girls throughout the complex issues faced during their developmental years.
Additionally, this year’s panel series will welcome Project LIT Community, described by founder Jarred Amato as a “national, grassroots literacy movement” through which dedicated authors empower young people “as readers, writers, and leaders” by sharing books that “make them feel seen, heard, affirmed, and valued”. Project LIT unites educators and students through books that teach youth about current events and culture, helping them become leaders who can make their voices heard.
Growing Every Year
The Chappaqua’s Children’s Book Festival has become one of Westchester County’s signature and largest events, garnering national attention and growing immensely in size and scope to accommodate larger numbers of both visitors and authors. Outreach efforts extend to schools and libraries in Westchester, Connecticut and New York City, welcoming families from well beyond the Chappaqua community and making this year’s festival likely the largest yet.
To ensure the safety of the growing number of visitors, CCBF organizers have arranged for the town to close off lower Greeley Avenue during the event, creating an easier path for families arriving by train or parking in the train station lot. The closed road, as well as the Bell soccer field, will allow more space for sponsors and food trucks, accommodating the anticipated attendees as well as abundant activities and refreshments.
Also appearing at the Festival will be KidLit TV, a website that connects parents and educators with authors, illustrators, and their work. The station will be broadcasting from the Festival with live interviews from the many visiting authors taking part in the event. Author readings, always an integral part of the CCBF, will now take place in the gazebo on the Recreation Field, and various activities involving art and music will add to the festivities. With a dedication to the principles of community and literacy, a portion of book sale proceeds will go to local literacy programs, encouraging area schools to invest in their reading programs and ensuring that the values of CCBF reach far beyond the Festival itself.
As a community-based event, CCBF is proud to engage both local organizations and families for this highly anticipated day that connects writers and readers in a shared love of literature.
Financial Asset Management of Chappaqua (FAM), one of the festival’s sponsors will be supporting a variety of lead-up events throughout the month of September, including window decorations of local businesses, an art show by author and illustrator Mara Van Fleet and a Storywalk created by the Chappaqua Public Library.
So clear your calendar for October 5th to attend the 7th Annual Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival. ccbfestival.org for more information or to sign up as a volunteer at the event or become a sponsor.